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NAVY : with a History of the Rise of 
England as a Maritime Power. With 
Portraits, Illustrations, and Maps. 2 
vols. Crown 8vo, 16s. 

With 4 Portraits (2 Photogravures) and 
12 Maps and Plans. 8vo, 21s. 

RANEAN: A Study of the Rise and 
Influence of British Power within the 
Straits, 1603-1713. 2 vols. 8vo, 














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I. The French Couxter- Attack of 1759 . . 1 

II. The Second Phase of the War . . . .71 

III. Main Attack, 1760 — Montreal .... 105 

IV. Transition from Commerce Protection to Eccen- 

tric Attack in the East Indies . . .119 

V. The Resumption of Coastal Pressure — Belleisle 141 

VI. Spain and the Fall of Pitt . . . .171 

VII. Completion of the West Indian Attack — 

Martinique 209 

VIII. The Intervention of Spain ..... 227 

IX. The Attack on Spain — Havana .... 246 

X. Between War and Peace — The Bourbon Counter- 
attack — Portugal ...... 285 

XI. Bute's Peace 327 

XII. Conclusion — Lessons of the War , . . 366 

APPENDIX — Definitive Treaty of Peace he- 
tween Great Britain, France, and Spain . 377 

INDEX 391 

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in 2008 witii funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 




1. Chart to Illustrate Hawke's Blockade in 

1759 Toface 1 

With his Operations against Conflans in November. 

2. Map to Illustrate the Montreal Cam- 

paign, 1760 ,,105 

3. Belleisle . . . . . . . . IGl 

4. Greater Antilles To face 255 

Showing the Operations against Havana. 




A STRIKING feature of the operations against Quebec is 
that in spite of their extreme difficulty and the risk they 
involved, and in spite of the decisive importance of the 
objective, no direct attempt to interrupt or even to harass 
them was made from France. The conditions which 
produced this result have still to be dealt with, and are 
well worth study. 

In the first place, they introduce us to a fresh principle 
of higher strategy which recurs in almost all great wars, 
and above all others tends to strategical confusion in 
their conduct. That law, or principle, is the tendency 
of limited wars to become unlimited in character. The 
process, as between two powerful and determined states, is 
almost inevitable. In a limited war, correctly conducted, 
a phase must be reached sooner or later in which one 
party begins to predominate in the limited area — that is, 
the area of the special object. The other party, as he 
feels himself unable to retain his hold in that area or 
shake that of his adversary, will seek to redress the 
bahmce by striking him at the centre of his power. In 



other words, the losing party will seek to destroy or 
cripple his enemy's resources for war at their base, and 
to inflict upon his home population suffering more intense 
than the attainment of the special object is worth. A 
war conducted on these lines is unlimited in character, 
since by acting thus we seek, through general pressure 
upon the national life of an adversary, to force him to 
do our will or to abandon his own. 

It is this stage of a limited war which most severely 
tests the imperturbability of a government, and at the same 
time exhibits the highest function of the defensive. And 
here lies the second point, in which the home aspect of 
the campaign of 1759 is so significant. Pitt's success in 
the war, so far, had been due fundamentally to the clear- 
eyed determination with which he had differentiated and 
co-ordinated the offensive and defensive parts of his 
scheme. The vigorous offensive in the limited area had 
been given its utmost attainable intensity, and nourished 
to the last available man and gun by a cool insistence 
upon a rigid defensive at home, so far, at least, as 
that defensive was compatible with diplomatic demands. 
Though France had for a while hung back from the truth, 
it had been her interest from the first to make the war 
unlimited in character. She was so much the weaker in 
the limited area and upon the common lines of passage 
and communication, that general coercion was her only 
real chance of fighting the war to a favourable peace. 
It was with this object in view, as we have seen, that she 
had attacked Hanover, but the connection betAveen Han- 
over and England had not proved sufficiently intimate 
to convert the character of the war. In Europe Pitt 
stubbornly refused to go beyond the general defensive 
attitude which was necessary to cover his offensive in 
America ; and France had been provided by diplomatic 


means with preoccupations which as yet had made it 
impossible for her to break that defensive. 

So far, the correct Hne for England to pursue had been 
comparatively clear and easy to follow ; but when France, 
finding her first design for expanding the war ineffective, 
went a step further and decided to make a direct attack 
upon the British Islands, the case became more complex. 
The question at once arose whether the time had not 
now come for abandoning the defensive attitude which 
had hitherto sufficed. Pitt above all men was a believer 
in the supreme efficacy of the offensive. In our history 
he may be taken to stand for that faith, as Napoleon 
stands for it in France ; and yet it was Napoleon who 
wrote, " The whole art of war consists in a well reasoned 
and strictly judicious defensive, followed by audacious 
and rapid attack." Such too was Pitt's faith. No man 
grasped more firmly than he the absolute dependence 
of the offensive upon a foundation of defence, and no one 
moreover knew better that where the offensive is not 
directed justly at the main object of the war, it is mere 
superstition and untutored instinct. To meet offence by 
quicker and more violent offence was the keynote of 
Pitt's method, but he never permitted the brilliance of 
the conception to blind him. He never forgot that to be 
tempted into taking the offensive in an area which was 
not the true area of the war, and in which the enemy 
was naturally the stronger, was not to show vigour, but 
to play stupidly into the enemy's hands. We have only 
to follow his handling of the new situation to see how 
true was his eye and how masterly his grasp of war. 

That the French determined to resort in some form 
or other to their old deterrent device of an invasion, or 
at least a formidable demonstration, was known early in 
the year. Indeed they made no secret of it. Seeing 


that the whole object of the design was to divert British 
attention from America and to attract her main forces 
within reach of French weapons, she had every reason to 
sound her trumpets as loudly as possible. What she had 
to keep secret was not her intention, but the manner in 
which it was to be carried out.^ Before ever Saunders 
and Wolfe had sailed for Quebec, our intelligence left no 
doubt that the French intention was at least serious 
enough to be reckoned with. Choiseul, who was now all- 
powerful at Versailles, had said they meant to play the 
Pretender again and make a serious descent upon England 
to ruin her credit, since in his opinion this was the only 
means France had left for maintaining the balance. It 
was English supplies that kept the war in Germany going, 
and they must be stopped. For it was only in Germany 
that France could secure the means of recovering the 
ground she had lost in America. There Frederick must 
be subdued, and the only way to subdue Frederick was to 
invade England, and so detach her from his alliance. 
Her eyes were not shut to the naval diflSculties, but these 
she hoped to overcome by bringing in the other maritime 
powers, and particularly Sweden, who was as anxious as 
herself to see the horn of Frederick brought low.^ The 
fleet was already arming, and forty thousand men were 
cantoned along the Channel coasts. Threats so definite 
as these had never failed to impress the peculiar tender- 
ness of British strategy. The device had been tried 
again and again, and had always had the effect of attract- 
ing to itself the mass of British effort. But, unlike his 
predecessors, Pitt was unmoved. He saw the old net 
being spread before his eyes, and refused to walk into it. 

» Choiseul to Havrincour, June 7, Newcastle Papers, 32,891. 
» Information from Paris, NcivcasUc Papers, Add. MSS. 32,888, f. 252, 
Jan. 20, 1759 ; Scbuffer to HUpken (intercepted), Ibid., Jan. 20, 32,887. 


The orders for Canada stood, and Pitt gave no more heed 
to the French threat than, as we have seen, sHghtly to 
strengthen his naval defensive by ordering Saunders 
to detach two of the line to reinforce Brodrick in the 

There was, however, one factor in the situation which 
caused Pitt real anxiety, and that was the uncertain and 
even menacing attitude of the neutral sea powers — Spain, 
Holland, Denmark, and Sweden. It may be taken as 
a law of maritime warfare, which cannot be omitted from 
strategical calculation with impunity, that every step 
towards gaming command of the sea tends to turn 
neutral sea powers into enemies. The prolonged exer- 
cise of belligerent rights, even of the most undoubted 
kind, produces an interference with trade that becomes 
more and more oppressive. But the process is usually 
accelerated as the sense of power inclines the dominat- 
ing belligerent to push its privileges beyond admitted 
limits. In the present case the atmosphere was very 
highly charged, owing to the fact that the Dutch and 
those that followed them still claimed immunity for 
enemy's goods in neutral ships ; while England asserted 
her traditional doctrine that enemy's goods were good 
prize everywhere upon the high seas. In the present 
war this old dispute received a special aggravation. For, 
as we have seen, France, in an eftbrt to save her West 
Indian trade, had suspended her exclusive navigation laws, 
and had thrown open that trade to neutrals. Now, how- 
ever willing England might be to relax the severity of 
her doctrine in order to keep well with her neighbours, 
this was a length to which she could not go. To permit 
neutrals, and above all the Dutch, to carry on for France 
her West Indian trade, was to render that trade almost 
invulnerable, and the islands themselves much more 


defensible. We argued that for a neutral in war time 
to carry on belligerent trade which was denied to her 
in peace was to better her position by the war, and to 
give illegitimate assistance to the belligerent. Our 
courts, therefore, had laid down from the first the 
famous " Rule of 175G " that during war neutrals may 
not engage in a trade with the colonies of a belligerent 
which is denied to foreign vessels in time of peace. 

On this rule our courts acted with legitimate severity, 
to the especial annoyance of the Dutch, whose com- 
mercial position had always owed so much to their 
inveterate practice of fishing thus in troubled waters.^ 
Added to this was the further provocation that the 
Dutch were the most confirmed dealers in contra- 
band of war, and the result was that their ships were 
seized ruthlessly and condemned in our prize courts 
without mercy, and often with a stretch of justice. 
Danes, Swedes, and Spaniards fared little better. What 
the King's cruisers did might possibly have been borne, 
but the action of our privateers was outrageous beyond 
endurance. Every year it had been growing worse, and 
it is not to be denied that at this time there was a 
swarm of smaller privateers in the Narrow Seas who 
were not to be distinguished from pirates. No matter 
from what innocent port the luckless vessels came, they 
seized them regardless of their papers, and in some 
cases went so far as to capture vessels which had just 
been released by our own prize-courts. To increase the 
danger of the situation, it happened that the Princess 
Royal, who had been regent in Holland, had recently 

* P'or the serious extent of this trade see Governor Thomas to Pitt, 
Antigua, Nov. 20, 1750, Chatham MSS., 98. He says three Dutch convoys 
under French escort had passed between Martinique and St. Eustatius in 
the last four months. 


died, and we were deprived of her kindly influence. In 
Spain, too, the Anglophile King Ferdinand had sunk into 
imbecility. His end was obviously near, and the heir- 
presumptive was the Bourbon King of Naples, a strong 
partisan of France. Still General Wall maintained his 
ascendency over Spanish policy, but it was expected not 
to outlast the frail life of the King. 

This, then, was the uncertain element in the situa- 
tion, and it was the only one which caused Pitt any real 
anxiety. He was honestly doing his best to check the 
abuses, but the privateers were incorrigible. What 
oppressed his mind from the first was a vision of the 
three northern powers uniting to protect their trade. 
He saw how easily on such a pretence they might gather 
a powerful combined fleet to escort their convoys down 
Channel, and then, having seen them clear, it would be 
open to them to run into Brest, join hands with the 
French fleet, and declare war. We should then be 
unable to keep command of the Channel or the North 
Sea, and the threatened invasion would become a real 

The vision does credit to Pitt's long sight and acute 
perception. It was far from fanciful. France was doing 
all she could at this time to tempt Sweden into taking 
a hand in her invasion project, and Denmark was actually 
approaching Holland as to the possibility of forming a 
maritime union and taking common action for the asser- 
tion of neutral rights. Pitt, who knew how to make 
concessions as well as to be bold, met the danger by 

1 Newcastle to Yorke, Dec. 19, 1758, and " Mem. for the King," Dec. 22. 
" Mr. Pitt's apprehensions that the Dutch and Danes may come into 
our channel without our having any certain knowledge of their object, and 
if the court of France should have any design to disturb us, these very 
ships may join and assist in it." — Add. MSS. 32,886. 


bringing pressure to bear on the prize courts to release 
as many ships as possible, and by restraining the excesses 
of the privateers by administrative action. In May, as 
the complaints continued and the crisis became more 
acute, he went so far as to hurry a severe Act through 
Parliament to restrain and punish their abuses, and to 
facilitate the release of captured vessels, while licenses 
were almost entirely refused to small vessels, and the 
prize courts had a fresh hint to show every possible 
leniency. The resistance of the privateer owners was 
violent and formidable, but a few weeks after the Act 
came into operation means were found for reconciling 
them to the new measures, and at the same time of 
using their energy. The growing menace of invasion 
called, as it always did, for the formation of a defensive 
flotilla, and a number of them were taken into Government 
pay and attached to squadrons under the command of 
naval officers who could direct their energy into more 
profitable channels. By these means the air was cleared. 
The neutral powers were pacified, and the special danger 

Still in spite of these measures as the spring advanced 
the seriousness of the general outlook only increased. 
Week by week signs that the French were in earnest 

^ Waddington, vol. iii. p. 425 ; Beatson, vol. ii. pp. 201-20.3. Beatson 
says : " Great numbers of these privateers were very small, and some of 
them were commanded by men remarkable only for brute courage and 
entirely devoid of every principle of honour or humanity, &c." They actu- 
ally robbed the Marquis de Pignatelli, Spanish Ambassador to Denmark, 
on his way to Copenhagen in a Dutch ship. The new Act came into force 
on June 1, and was entitled, "An Act to explain and amend an Act of 
29 George II. for the encouragement of seamen . . . and for the better 
prevention of piracies and robberies by private ships of war." Commissions 
were limited to ships of over 100 tons and 10 guns, with a discretionary 
power to grant them to smaller vessels made in favour of the Channel 
Islands, whose fishing craft had been doing real service against the French 
coastwise traffic. 


grew in intensity. Troops were gathering about the 
Flemish ports, and a flotilla was being prepared in those 
of the Channel. Yorke, in Holland, assured the Govern- 
ment it meant nothing, but Newcastle's intelligence was 
too good, and he had no illusions. " The design," he wrote 
" of making an attempt here, and perhaps at the same 
time in Ireland and Scotland, goes on, but the particular 
time of its execution is not yet determined. These things 
are not given out to frighten us, but are under their 
serious consideration. You know, I suppose, that flat- 
bottomed boats are preparing all along the French 
coasts." ^ Yorke persisted in his scepticism, while at 
home the Government was acting on its convictions. 
The French were assuring all the allied courts that, 
owing to the great fleets which England had sent out 
to the West Indies and Canada, it would be impossible 
for them to be superior in European waters. But Anson's 
labour had never ceased. On April 5th he was able to 
promise the King that he would have thirty of the line 
ready for the Channel Fleet in May, and that the French 
between Brest and Rochefort would have no more than 
twenty-seven. He proposed to send Boscawen, who was 
still at home, to look into Rochefort with ten sail, and to 
order a cruiser squadron to Bordeaux to destroy a convoy 
of victuallers which had gone thither for provisions.^ His 
cruisers upon the French coasts were supplying him with 
excellent information, and at the same time actively 
operating against the coastwise trade upon which the 
equipment of the French invading forces must prin- 
cipally depend. The effect of Anson's energy and Pitt's 
politic concessions to the neutral powers was that the 
control of the home waters was soon in little danger. 

^ Newcastle to Yorke, April 3, Newcastle Papers, 32,889. 
« " Mem. for the King," April 5, ibid., 32,889 


The more immediate anxiety was from Toulon, where 
the French preparations were more advanced. The 
probable intention of the squadron was to seek to join 
the Brest fleet, and if this were carried out the control 
of the Channel would become more difficult to secure. 
It was therefore decided to give Boscawen three of the 
line and send him down to join Brodrick before Toulon 
and take command. In accordance with this plan he 
sailed on April 14th. 

So far, it will be observed, the measures taken to 
repel, or rather prevent, the threatened disturbance were 
purely naval. Pitt refused to take the invasion seriously. 
For him it was but a menace, intended to cover some 
ulterior action by the French fleet, possibly in the West 
Indies, Canada, or elsewhere. The situation, in his e3'es, 
was met by confronting it with a fleet capable of deal- 
ing with the threatened attack. Everything else Avas 
courageously ignored. Formidable as was the display 
of military movement along the French coasts, there 
was no calling out of the militia, no raising of volunteers, 
no issue of orders for driving the coast country, nor indeed 
any of the traditional measures by which governments 
had been used on these occasions to further the enemy's 
object by creating a scare at home and disturbing the 
current of national life. It was Pitt's conviction to make 
the defence purely active, to picture the country to itself 
as only waiting eagerly for the tortoise to dare to show 
its head. The army must, therefore, take its part in the 
play beside the fleet, and be deprived of any appearance 
of waiting to be attacked. So of land defence there was 
no sign, nor any considerable movement of troops, except 
the formation of another camp in the Isle of Wight. 

It was his old device, and it had never failed him. 
With the Channel fleet getting rapidly ready for Hawke's 


flag at Spithead, the Isle of Wight force became a 
violent threat, and its effect had been immediate. The 
Due d'Aiguillon, Governor of Brittany, had been pressing 
for leave to make an attempt to seize Jersey, but Marshal 
Belleisle, who was directing the whole of the operations, 
would not consent. " We must not permit," he wrote, 
" a secondary expedition, however interesting, to turn 
our attention from an enterprise of far more importance, 
the great project against England, which is on the eve 
of being realised." In justification of his discouraging 
attitude, he informed the sanguine governor that they 
were expecting an attack upon Brest in March, and that 
he must devote all attention to placing it in a state of 
defence. "The English Ministers," he said, " have learnt 
that all the batteries of the port, the haven, and the 
adjacent parts are unarmed, and a portion of the garrison 
withdrawn. . . . Success by the enemy at this point 
would give us a mortal blow." ^ 

Nor was it at Brest alone the disturbance was felt. 
From all quarters as before, where it was possible for an 
expedition to strike, the same anxiety clogged the French 
preparations.^ Even so, Pitt was not content. The 
threat must be made keener still, and once more New- 
castle, whose nerves had already as much as they could 
bear with the risks that Pitt was calmly taking, was 
thrown in a flutter of despair. On the morning of April 
17th, Anson received a note from Pitt, desiring him to 
receive the King's orders that very day for ton thousand 
tons of transport for five thousand men. Not a word 
was said of the objective, and Anson, who himself was still 
unreconciled to Pitt's fondness for combined expeditions 

^ Lacour-Gayet, pp. 302-3. 

* Intelligence from Sluys, Newcastle Papers, 32,890, f. 70 ; Yorke to 
Newcastle, April 17, ibid. 


went to Newcastle. The admiral assumed the King knew 
Pitt's mind. Newcastle went to the King ; but the King 
knew no more than he, and refused to issue the order. 
This was far from brintano: comfort to Anson. When 
Newcastle came out of the closet and told the admiral, 
who was waiting in the antechamber, what had passed, 
Anson, to the Minister's surprise, expressed regret at 
the attitude the Kincr had taken. Pitt, he said, would be 
outrageous and blame them ; and finally he persuaded 
Newcastle to go back and tell the King the thing had 
better go forward, and that he, as First Lord, personally- 
wished it to. Upon this the King agreed to sign the 
order, on condition that Anson went to Pitt to find out 
what service he intended. Newcastle tried to console 
himself with the reflection that perhaps a mere alarm 
was intended, as we certainly could not spare troops for 
another expedition. But he was thoroughly upset, and 
told his friend Hardwicke it was " a most abominable and 
most unheard-of measure." ^ To make matters worse, 
Pitt was continuing to display a breezy disbelief in the 
reality of the invasion. Next day Newcastle tried to 
relieve his feelings by a long memorandum on home and 
foreign affairs. He despaired of England's being able to 
bear the expense of the war any longer, and lamented the 
disposition which existed to despise the notion that an 
invasion was really intended. It was certainly the French 
aim, though it would probably bo deferred till the autumn. 
It would, of course, depend on the naval force they could 
gather and the state of the Avar in Germany. But in 
any case our policy, as he laid it down in italics, was not 
to waste our land and sea forces with useless and expen- 
sive expeditions, but to collect an organised army for 
home defence, and keep the home fleet superior to any- 

^ Newcastle to Hardwicke, April 17. 


thing the French could bring against it. There was no 
knowing how long Spanish neutrality would last, and it 
was indeed a question whether they should not inform 
Frederick at once that they could not support the war 
another year.^ 

Meanwhile Anson had been to Pitt. He found him 
too ill to be seen, but his secretary explained that no 
new expedition was intended. The purpose was only to 
increase the defensive activity of the kingdom by giving 
complete mobiUty to the Isle of Wight corps. The effect 
would be to increase the French apprehension of a 
counter-attack, and at the same time to secure that a 
force could be dropped in Scotland or Ireland wherever 
the French might land.^ Newcastle and his friends were 
quieted, but not for long. In the course of the next 
fortnight, intelligence came in, Avhich made the prospect 
of invasion more formidable than ever. Newcastle had 
obtained information, which he regarded as certain, that 
the French corps in Flanders was intended for England, 
that it was to be reinforced by the Guards and a detach- 
ment from the army of the Rhine, and that Soubise 
himself was to command it.^ There was also an assur- 
ance from our spies that thirty thousand men were 
assembling within twenty-four hours' march of Brest, and 
that they were suddenly to be thrown upon the west 
coast of Ireland. 

Consequently Newcastle's nervousness returned with 
increased force, and to do him justice it was not without 
excuse. As he had said, the offensive action of the French 
would depend upon how the war went in Germany, and 
it was going very badly. Ferdinand, who had wintered 

1 Add. MSS. 32,890, f. 149, April 18-19. 
* Anson to Newcastle, ibid., April 18. 
3 Newcastle to Yorke, April 27. 


on the line of Miinster, Lippstadt, and Paderborn, found 
himself confronted by Marshal Contades in superior force. 
Added to this, his left rear was threatened by the French 
army of the Upper Rhine, which was based on Frankfort, 
and which, as Soubise had been called to command the 
army of England, was then in the far more capable hands 
of the Due de Broglie. To free himself from the impos- 
sible situation, Ferdinand, with characteristic energy, 
before the campaign had really opened, made a dash at 
Frankfort ; but his attack on Broglie's position failed, and 
he had to fall back with considerable loss and no relief 
of his awkward situation. A secondary effect of this 
operation was to relieve the French of one serious uncer- 
tainty. Till Ferdinand began to move towards Frankfort, 
that is, eastward and away from the coast, they had to 
face the possibility that Pitt's force in the Isle of Wight 
foreshadowed a combination with him m Flanders.^ This 
fear was removed, and though they were still anxious 
about Normandy and Havre, the army of Soubise in 
Flanders was left comparatively free for eccentric offen- 
sive action. 

Still Pitt refused to believe in the reality of the French 
threat, while Newcastle's alarm grew in proportion to 
Pitt's assumption of confidence. Pitt was still confined to 
his room, and Newcastle was everywhere. The result was 
that by the first week in May he had worked the country 
into a regular scare, and on the 9th a Cabinet Council had 
to meet at Pitt's house to deal with it. Pitt was as con- 
temptuous as ever. He told Newcastle that he and his 
friends had worked up the panic, and it Avas their busi- 
ness to allay it. The French, he affirmed, were in no 
condition to attack, and had made no preparation to do 
so. Newcastle and Hardwicke, whose information was 
' Yorkc to Newcastle, April I7. 


often better than Pitt's, contradicted him. Holderness 
held his tongue. Bedford urged the unprotected condi- 
tion of Ireland. But nothing could be got out of Pitt, 
except an order that in ten days' time Hawke was to 
repair to Torbay with eighteen of the line to watch Brest, 
and that a proclamation should be issued calling out some 
of the new militia.^ The force was still scarcely born, 
and Pitt seems to have relied for military defence upon 
his characteristic principle of giving the regular troops 
their extreme mobility by providing them with sea 
carriage. For at this time he ordered the ten thousand 
tons of transport he had called for to be victualled for 
three months, and a fortnight later he called for fifteen 
thousand tons more to assemble at the Nore for immedi- 
ate service,^ What this last order meant is not known ; 
but in all probability the intention was to frighten 
Soubise and hold him in Flanders away from Ferdinand. 
From this point the whole situation turned upon the 
capacity of the home fleet to perform its defensive func- 
tion. That function was to secure the lines of passage 
and communication in the Narrow Seas so as to make it 
impossible for any French invading force to get to sea — 
or if by the hazard of war any part of that force did get 
away and land, to ensure that we could quickly throw 
troops upon its back and prevent the French supporting 
it. It was in fact a problem as purely naval as any pro- 
blem of war can be, and Pitt acted accordingly. We 
have seen that in the offensive areas of the war, where 
results depended upon the intimate co-ordination of 
naval and military action, the admirals were receiving 

• For the Cabinet see " Mem. for the King," May 9, Newcastle Papers, 
32,891, and for calling out the militia the correspondence from May 17 to 
27, ibid. 

' Admiralty Secretary, In-lctlers {Secretary of State), 4123, May IG and 
June 1. 


their orders direct from him, but in this case it was 
different. Nothing is more eloquent of Pitt's grasp of 
war than his frank recognition that here his interference 
was uncalled for. Having determined the function of 
the navy in the liome area he gave it a perfectly free 
hand, and the whole of the operations for discharging 
that function were left to the judgment of Lord Anson 
and his colleagues on the Board of Admiralty. 

The energy which they had been displaying in turning 
what remained of the navy into a powerful home fleet 
fully justified Pitt's confidence. Hawke acted with equal 
promptitude. Throe days after the decision of the Secret 
Committee he hoisted his flag at Spithead, where he was 
informed by the Admiralty that Bompart had left Mar- 
tinique for San Domingo, and would probably be home 
shortly. He was therefore to try to intercept him by 
keeping a detachment down the Bay, and for this purpose 
he would shortly be reinforced.^ Within the ten days 
specified he was at Torbay with his eighteen of the line : 
on the morrow he was stretching over to Ushant, and 
before the week was out he had struck the note which 
was to dominate the idea of naval blockade for a century 
to come. 

His instructions had been framed on the traditional 
" observation " idea of watching Brest from Torbay. But 
once his flag was flying he determined to act on his own 
theory of what a defensive blockade should be. In his 
first two despatches he enunciates his ideas. On May 27th 
he wrote that he had arrived ofi' Brest on the 24th, and 
found eleven sail out in the Road. His advanced cruisers 
reported four others ready for sea at L'Orient, and he had 

^ Hawke to Admiralty, with answer endorsed, Admiralty Secretary, Jn- 
letten, U2, May 14. In this volume and in Out-lcttcrs, 83-4 and 526, 
and Secret Orders, 1331, will be found the whole of the despatches relating 
to the Brest blockade hereafter quoted. 


immediately detached Captain Keppel with five of the 
Hne to Audierne Bay to prevent their stealing round to 
Brest. In his opinion the eleven ships in the Road were 
not intended to proceed against Great Britain, but for the 
relief of the West Indies. He himself was going to 
stay where he was to watch them. " As the eleven in 
the Road," he said, " may be joined by others from the 
port, I don't think it prudent to give them a chance of 
coming out by retiring to Torbay." He therefore signi- 
fied his intention of staying where he was unless their 
lordships recalled him, or strong westerly weather forced 
him to seek shelter. A week later, on June 4th, he reported 
that the ships from L'Orient must have got round before 
Keppel reached his station. There were no longer any 
to be seen there, and there were seventeen in Brest Road. 
He therefore reiterated his intention of staying where 
he was till further orders. On the morrow, however, a 
south-westerly gale was upon him ; and on the 6th he 
was forced to run back into Torbay, and there he was 
held, in spite of every effort to get back, for the best part 
of a fortnight. 

As ill-luck would have it, it was at this moment that 
the whole situation was intensified by a master-stroke of 
the intelligence department which seriously increased the 
agitation in London, and which for the first time opened 
Pitt's eyes to the magnitude of the French design. 
Neither Choiseul nor Belleisle concealed from themselves 
how desperate was their plan without further naval assist- 
ance. Except from Sweden there seemed no immediate 
chance of obtaining it, and, as we have seen, they were 
straining every device to induce her to turn her war with 
Prussia into a war with England as well. The Swedes, 
however, were sceptical as to the practicability of the 
intended invasion. To convince them, Choiseul decided 



to reveal to them practically the whole of Belleisle's plan, 
and on May 31st he sent to his ambassador at Stockholm 
a complete account of it. About the middle of June a 
copy of this letter found its way into Newcastle's pocket/ 
He could now rejoice in something to justify his attitude 
against that of Pitt : for, as he told Hardwicke, the French 
design was " not only serious but extremely well laid." ^ 
Few will deny that Newcastle's opinion was no more than 
the truth. The idea which the letter disclosed was a con- 
siderable modification of that which Belleisle had first 
put forward. His original plan was one which Napoleon 
adopted — that is, a flotilla of flat-boats sufficient for the 
transport of fifty thousand men was to be assembled 
between Ambleteuse and Boulogne, under cover of for- 
midable coast defences. The work was actually begun, 
but Belleisle, unlike Napoleon, when he came closer to the 
design rejected it as requiring too much time and being 
too costly. In its place he adopted a plan which was 
far less amateurish and much more promising, and was 
entirely new. It was based on a coup-de-7nain upon 
London from the army of Flanders. Twenty thousand 
men were to march suddenly to Ostend, embark there, 
and land upon the coast of Essex at Maid on in the 
estuary of the Blackwater, where they would be within 
two marches of London. So far all was simple and pro- 
mising enough — but there remained the difficulty of 
securing the passage. It was approached in a thoroughly 
scientific spirit. Its seriousness was not shirked. Indeed 
the greater part of the whole design was devoted to a 
very ingenious method of securing what was wanted. 
Another army of twenty thousand men was to be as- 
sembled in Brittany under the Due d'Aiguillon, whose 

* Choiseul to Havrincour, May 31, Newcastle Papers, 32,891. 

• Newcastle Papers, 32,892, June 14. 


destination was the Clyde. By a junction of the Medi- 
terranean and Atlantic squadrons a fleet of from thirty- 
five to forty of the line was to be concentrated in Brest. 
Under escort of this fleet D'Aiguillon was to proceed to 
his destination, and the fleet, after landing him at some 
favourable point near Glasgow, was to proceed north- about 
and run down to Ostend to cover the passage of the 
Flanders army. Meanwhile D'Aiguillon would have 
marched across Scotland and seized Edinburgh, and as a 
further source of confusion Thurot, the famous privateer 
captain, would have sailed from Dunkirk with a cruiser 
squadron and made a raid on Ireland.^ 

The design, it will be seen, was, as Newcastle said, 
" extremely well laid." So far as it was possible for such 
an enterprise to succeed without previous command of 
the sea, every chance was taken. Nothing could be better 
devised for confusing the enemy and concealing from 
them what the real line of operation was. But with all 
its cleverness it was a soldier's plan, based, as such plans 
always have been, on the analogy of an army protecting 
its train in an enemy's country. In the eyes of Belleisle, 
the fleet while at sea was the active force advancing 
against its objective, and the transports the train. The 
analogy is false, and the fact that the plan involved a 
hybrid conception between a passage by force and a 
passage by evasion shows that its falseness was felt, if not 
quite realised. If the French fleet was capable of defend- 
ing an expedition of twenty thousand men against an 
attack by Hawkc, still more was it capable of dealing with 
Hawke if it had no convoy to encumber it. All it would 
then have to do would be to fight a containing action, 
while the two expeditions crossed freely under commerce 
protection escort. This had been pointed out. At one 

* Lacour-Gayet, Marine sous Louis XV., 321-2. 


time there had been a suggestion that D'Aiguillon ought 
to sail for Scotland under a small escort sufficient to keep 
off cruisers, and that the mass of the fleet should engage 
Hawke's attention in the Channel while the Flanders 
corps crossed. This idea was eventually rejected for the 
one which really rested ultimately for its success on 
evasion. For since by clogging the French fleet with 
a cumbrous convoy its sole chance of decisively defeating 
Hawke was denied it, the expedition could only hope to 
arrive safely by evasion. Yet at the same time nothing 
was so likely to attract Hawke's fleet, and reduce the 
chances of evasion, as the presence of the main French 
fleet with the invading corps. 

The difficulty which brought so capable a strategist as 
Belleisle to adopt so faulty a design was probably a part 
of the British system of naval defence which has not 
yet been noticed. To confine the enemy's main fleet to 
port is not to command the sea. By so doing you may 
prevent the enemy gaining command, but your own fleet 
Avill be too much occupied to exercise the command 
itself. In demobilising the enemy's main fleet you de- 
mobilise your own to an even greater degree, for the 
blockading fleet must be superior. For the active control 
of the communications in the theatre concerned, secondary 
lines are necessary. No principle of naval Avarfare is so 
much ignored in ordinary discussion as that you cannot 
command the sea with a battle fleet. Without it, it is true, 
you cannot do so, if the enemy has one too. But even 
if your own battle fleet be not occupied and contained by 
the act of watching that of the enemy, it can never itself 
be numerous or ubiquitous enough to exercise the actual 
control. It is, and always has been, the third and the 
second lines of the fleet that actually control the lines of 
passage — particularly against transports — that is to say, 


it is, and always has been, the flotilla and its sup- 
porting cruisers and intermediate ships. The function 
of the battle fleet is to prevent the enemy's battle 
fleet from interfering with the function of your cruisers 
and flotilla. By corollary to it follows that you by 
no means necessarily lose control when your battle 
fleet is defeated, unless that defeat is so complete as to 
leave your enemy potent enough to remove your other 
two lines.^ 

All the great naval First Lords from Anson to 
St. Vincent recognised this principle, and in the present 
case secondary lines had been provided, for the special 
purpose of preventing the enemy's transports passing the 
Channel while the British main fleet was tied to Brest. 
The actual defence force took the form of a series of 
flotillas with supporting cruiser squadrons, disposed along 
our south-eastern and southern coasts. One, under Com- 
modore Boys, was watching Dunkirk and the Flemish 
ports, and another, under Sir Peircy Brett, was stationed 
in the Downs. His special point of vigilance was Havre 
and the adjacent ports, where it was known that the 
French were massing a number of large flat-boats for the 
obvious purpose of transporting troops across the Channel. 
A third squadron, under Rodney, was being prepared at 
Spithead. The defence system was thus complete, and 
it was impossible for the invasion to take place till these 
squadrons were removed. A mere containing action 
would not enable the transports to avoid this danger, nor 

1 The " flotilla " of that time may be taken to include all vessels of sloop 
type and under, which regularly used sweeps as auxiliary propulsion. 
The " intermediate " ships had also battle value, and corresponded to the 
armoured cruisers of to-day. They were niaiidy " fifties " and light-anued 
" sixties," whose normal function was to support cruisers in the regular 
duties of commerce protection and the like, though they were frequently 
diverted to assist battle squadrons. 


did the presence of Hawke permit of its being removed 
by anything less than the whole fleet. It all, indeed, 
comes back to the old story that the defeat and dis- 
ablement of the British main fleet was the sole ex- 
pedient which could bring the enterprise within the 
limits of a sound military risk. Still, given the fact 
that the enterprise had to be undertaken as the only 
chance of saving the general situation, it was as well 
laid as it could be with the given material, and far 
more likely to have succeeded than was the alternative 
rejected plan which was the one Napoleon most obstinately 

In London it was received at least with respect. As 
divulged to Sweden by Choiseul it differed slightly from 
the above design. Havrincour was told that twenty-four 
battalions and a regiment of dragoons would sail from 
Brest under the escort of Conflans and the main fleet, 
and that, having seen this force to its destination, the 
admiral would then proceed north-about into the North 
Sea to cover the passage of fifty thousand men from 
Flanders and Dunkirk. Marshal Contades meanwhile 
would prevent Ferdinand from interfering. Of the naval 
concentration nothing was said, but Newcastle assumed 
that La Clue would join Conflans from the Mediterranean 
if he could escape Boscawen, and that Bompart would 
come in from the West Indies. He was, therefore, for 
ordering home eight or ten large ships from the West 
Indian squadrons as soon as Bompart left, but he feared 
Pitt would not consent. He was getting more and more 
anxious, and had no faith in Hawke's blockade. " My 
chief dependence still," he wrote, " is that our little light 
squadrons in the Downs and Spithead [that is, Boys's, 
Brett's and Rodney's] will prevent or harass them extremely, 
on their landing." If they failed, he did not see how we 


could oppose thirty thousand men, or half that number, 
unless the militia were used to guard the thousands of 
French prisoners that crowded our jails. The comfort 
was, there was time to prepare. It was known the French 
were still pressing Sweden to assist the Scottish enter- 
prise, and that they could take no final decision till they 
got a definite answer. Anson therefore did not look for 
the attempt for two months, and Newcastle accepted his 
view, but only as a reprieve from the terrors he saw 

Pitt, on the other hand, continued breezily confident. 
At Anson's suggestion he had sanctioned a secret blow 
against the French preparations, with which he hoped to 
teach them a severe lesson. His gaiety even irritated 
Newcastle, who complained to Hardwicke that Pitt ridi- 
culed the idea of the French being able to make any 
serious attack, though he had no doubt they would be 
mad enough to try. The difficulties Hawke was encoun- 
tering in the Brest blockade increased the anxiety of those 
who could not share Pitt's security. No sooner did he 
get to sea again than another gale drove him back to 
Torbay. " I never saw," he wrote, " so much bad weather 
in summer since I have been at sea." So seriously dis- 
turbed was Newcastle that he now determined to show 
Pitt the Swedish correspondence he had intercepted. 
Hitherto it had been kept from him ; for ever since the 
days of Elizabeth it had been the practice of Ministers 
who were not too sure of themselves to increase their 
importance with the Crown by getting intelligence and 
keeping it from their rivals in power. How far Pitt Avas 
affected by the disclosure is difficult to say. The im- 
mediate effect was that Ligonier was ordered to form 

^ Choiseul to Havrincour, June 7, Newcastle Papers, 32,891 ; Newcastle 
to Hardwicke, June 14, ibid., 32,892. 


camps in England and in Ireland, or, as we should say 
now, to mobilise the army. It was now too that the 
privateers, who were just then growling over the opera- 
tion of the new Act, began to be taken into navy pay 
to increase the flotilla, and Anson's project was pressed 
on with all vigour. 

His idea was one after Pitt's own heart. For the 
project was a vigorous counter-stroke with Rodney's 
squadron against the flat-boats at Havre. It was in this 
manner he proposed to use the respite of two months 
which he believed he had in hand.-^ Bomb-vessels and 
fireships Avere brought forward for Rodney's flag, and in 
hope of keeping the objective secret his own orders and 
those of all his captains were made out for proceeding to 
Gibraltar to reinforce Boscawen. But as Rodney at the 
same time had to institute inquiries for pilots for Havre, 
the attempt was not very successful. The admiral 
said his officers were already talking of Havre, and before 
the weather would permit him to sail the newspapers 
were doing the same.^ By June 19 th the weather had 
moderated enough for Hawke to return at last to his 
station off Brest, and what with this and the newspapers 
Rodney was burning to be ofl"; but all who knew the 
Norman coast said it would be useless, since with the 
winds that prevailed there would be such a seaway off" 
Havre as would make it impossible for bomb-ketches to 
be used. June passed away before the weather changed, 
but on July 2nd Rodney was able at last to sail with his 

* The evidence that the project was Anson's is that he was giving all 
the orders from the Admiralty, and that on June 8, two days after Rodney 
received definite instructions, Newcastle noted in his " Memoranda for the 
King," " Lord Anson's project." — Add. M:S1S. 32,801. 

- Rodney to Cleveland, June G, 10, and 18, Admiralty Secretary, In- 
letters, 9.3. The sham orders are in Out-hitcrs, 83, dated June 8. The real 
ones are in Secret Orders, 1331, June 26. 


flag in the Achilles (60) and a squadron of four " fifties," 
five frigates, and six bomb-ketches.^ 

The next day he anchored before Havre, and during 
the night proceeded to get the bomb-ketches into posi- 
tion. There was considerable difficulty in doing so, for 
as usual the pilots proved quite useless. But Samuel 
Hood and two of the other frigate captains undertook 
the work themselves, and by the following morning had 
them all arranged in the Honfleur channel within range 
of the town, the docks, the flat-boats that were finished, 
and the extensive magazines for making the remainder. 
Under support of the frigates a furious bombardment 
was commenced, Rodney directing it in person from 
Hood's ship, the Vestal. For fifty-two hours it lasted, 
and then only ceased because the mortars were no longer 
serviceable. The actual extent of the damage done was 
never ascertained. The French, of course, minimised it. 
Rodney reported that the town was on fire several times, 
that the magazines were burning for six hours, and that 
" many of the boats were overturned and damaged by the 
explosion of the shells." Also that the consternation was 
so great that all the inhabitants forsook the town. The 
probability is that the material damage was not very great. 
In any case, that was unimportant beside the moral effect. 
In that respect all that was wanted had been achieved. 
For Rodney had demonstrated to the most nervous and 
sceptical that his light squadron was quite sufficient to 
prevent the Havre flotilla ever putting to sea without a 
fleet escort, and on July 8th he was back at Spithead to 
refit for renewing his attack.^ 

^ Among his officers were several who afterwards achieved distinction. 
Samuel Hood and Thomas Graves commanded frigates under him, as they 
did squadrons in the fatal year of tlie next war. Hyde Parker also 
commanded a frigate, and Rodney's flag-capfain was liarrington. 

* The most impartial account of the damage done was afterwards 
obtained from a Spanish officer who was in the place at the time. He 


The real anxieties, however, of the Ministers were far 
from being allayed. Ferdinand, with the whole force of 
Contades's army pressing on his loft, was persistently 
retreating, and no one could see where the retreat would 
end. Frederick had refused to move to his assistance. 
For the first time in the war he was showing a tendency 
to act on the defensive, and to adopt any desperate means 
rather than his wonted activity in the field. Amongst 
other expedients he was deep in a negotiation with the 
Sultan, to try to get him to fall on the back of the 
Austrians. It was an unscrupulous policy, which others 
had tried before him and some have tried since. The 
only result that has ever come of it is to make the per- 
petrator a pariah in Europe. By the end of May he had 
got so far that Newcastle was ofiicially informed that the 
Grand Vizier had promised a treaty of alliance if England 
would also affix her seal, Newcastle, with characteristic 
levity, was delighted, but Pitt refused to be a party. He 
knew too well the folly in war of taking measures, how- 
ever plausible, which must have the effect of raising up 
fresh forces for the enemy, and he knew that the effect 
of Frederick's barbarous plan would be to turn Russia's 
lukewarm interest in the war into fierce and fiery earnest. 
For this reason alone he would give nothing but an 
equivocal promise of his good offices for securing the 
execution of the treaty when made. The Porte at once 
drew back, aud for the time the subject dropped.^ 

During July the situation in Germany went from bad 
to worse. On the 9th the Due de Broglie seized Minden, 
and there appeared no possibility of Ferdinand's being 

said about 600 shells and carcases fell in the town, of which he counted 
100 in the basin and harbour. He also said the magazine of plank, pitch, 
and cordage was entirely destroyed. See Admiralty Secretary, In-lcttera, 
93, Sept. 21, 1759. 

* Waddington, vol. iii. p. 113. 


able to retain even the line of the Wesor. Hanover again 
seemed doomed. A fortnight later, the Prussian general 
Wedell was defeated by the Russians at Poltzig, and the 
way was open for a junction between them and the 
Austrians at Frankfort. Nothing, therefore, stood in the 
way of the French devoting a very considerable force to 
the invasion of England, and it was known that at the 
end of June Conflans had left Paris to hoist his flag at 
Brest. At the same time came intelligence that the 
Toulon fleet was to sail for Brest on July 15th, and that 
at Bordeaux, Nantes, Bayonne, and Rochelle they were 
arming ships enfiHtc for the same port. All these circum- 
stances, coupled with the information which Newcastle had 
obtained as to the real nature of the French design, exer- 
cised a marked reaction on the system of naval defence. 
Hitherto the primary objective, or, as the technical phrase 
then was, " the principal object," of the home fleet was 
the French main fleet, but now it tended to become what 
it really was, the French invading armies. The first in- 
dication of this is seen in Anson's activity in strengthening 
the light squadrons. At the end of June he was taking 
up more privateers and small craft right and left, and to 
reinforce the cruiser squadrons he was arming some of the 
transports which had now served Pitt's purpose in alarming 
the French, and for which he had no longer any use.^ 

The most interesting reaction, however, is seen in the 
changed nature of Hawke's blockade. It was on June 
21st that he succeeded in reaching his station. The port 
had been open a whole fortnight, but to his great relief 
he found that nothing had stirred out. He was able to 
send home a list of the French fleet, showing twenty of 
the line ready, or almost ready, to sail, which Dufl", one 
of the best of his cruiser captains, had obtained. The 

^ Newcastle to Hardwicke, June 27. 


dispositions he then made related ahnost entirely to this 
fleet, in accordance with a design which he had already 
sent to the Admiralty. " Except I shall be drove ofif," 
he had said, " by winds and weather, I shall keep them 
constantly in view, so as either to prevent their coming 
out or doing my utmost, in case they should, to take or 
destroy them." ^ His idea was that for this purpose 
he required a battle squadron equal to, but no stronger 
than, that of the enemy. This main squadron, when- 
ever the wind was easterly, that is, offshore, and fair 
for the French to come out, he kept off Point St. Mathieu, 
inside the Black Stones, and practically in the entrance 
to the harbour. In advance of this was an inshore 
squadron of two of the line and two frigates, under 
Commodore the Hon. Augustus Hervey, who in the 
course of this command was to clinch the reputation 
he had already established as one of the most brilliant 
officers in the service. Whenever the weather rendered 
the St. Mathieu station unsafe, Hawke moved out to a 
rendezvous fifteen leagues W. i S. of Ushant, while Hervey 
took his place off St. Mathieu, and a chain of connecting 
ships of the line was formed between the two squadrons. 
This arrangement, with the three ships of the line which 
remained over and were stationed in Audierne Bay to 
watch L'Orient, constituted the naval blockade. The 
commercial blockade was completed by frigates at both 
ends of the Passage du Four, one in the Passage du Raz, 
and one right in the Goulet. It was thus rendered effec- 
tive enough, in Hawke's opinion, to entitle him to turn 
back any neutral that tried to enter, and to seize every 
Swede on suspicion of carrying contraband.^ His task, 

1 To Cleveland, " OiY the Start," Juno 12. 

* To Cleveland, July IG. Danes were allowed in and out, Dutch as a 
rule were merely warned off. In Hawke's view a strictly effective blockade 
did not entitle him to seize neutrals except under suspicion of contraband. 


however, did not eud with watching the Breton ports. 
For about this time the Government received definite 
news that Bompart was about to come home from the 
West Indies with seven or eight sail, and Hawke was 
ordered, so soon as he had ships enough, to throw out a 
squadron down the Bay to intercept him/ 

So far, it will be seen, Hawke's attention was entirely 
devoted to the enemy's battle fleets and their supplies. 
It was not till he had been nearly a month on the station 
that he seems to have thought it necessary to attend to 
the transports and the army that were gathering to the 
southward of him. In the middle of August, however, 
whether upon fresh information or upon a hint from 
home, he seems to have suddenly awakened to the danger 
of the French transports evading him, while the presence 
of Conflans's fleet compelled him to concentrate before 
Brest. The first idea apparently Avas that the transports 
which had assembled in the ports between L'Orient and 
Nantes were about to attempt to steal round to Brest. 
On August 15th Captain Roddam was ordered to cruise 
with the Audierne or southern squadron as far as 
L'Orient, with instructions that if he met a convoy he 
was to attack it and not its escorting frigates. " The 
convoy," he was told emphatically, "is your principal 
object." A week later the anxiety grew more serious. 
It was thought the troops might sail direct for Ireland 
— perhaps even that they had already done so. The 
southern squadron was therefore increased, and on August 
26 th Commodore John Reynolds was given the com- 
mand, with orders to extend the blockade as far down 
as Nantes. If he found no transports there he was 
immediately to take the whole squadron to Ireland in 
search of them, and to remember particularly that the 

1 Out-letUrs, 526, Aug. 13. 


transports were his " principal object." If he found them 
still in Nantes, he was to keep them there, and see if 
they could not be destroyed with bombs.^ 

On his arrival Reynolds found the transports had not 
moved, and with the force at his command, viz. one ship 
of the line and a dozen cruisers, he established a strict 
blockade. So far then all was well, and just then came 
news that ashore things were even better. While 
Reynolds was closing Nantes, Hawke was standing in 
to St. Mathieu on special orders from home to fire a 
feu-de-joie in the face of M. de Conflans. The French 
fleet could not mistake its meaning. It was for the 
famous victory of Minden. After the Due de Broglie's 
brilliant seizure of the town, which finally threw Hanover 
open to the French, Ferdinand had turned in his ap- 
parently hopeless retreat. Marshal Contades was busily 
and successfully engaged in enlarging the hole which 
Broglie had pierced. All Westphalia and the whole 
line of the Weser were practically in his hands, when 
Ferdinand had suddenly fallen upon him at Minden and 
completely defeated him. As all allowed, the victory 
was mainly due to the daring attack of the British 
infantry, but the honour of the exploit was overshadowed 
by Lord George Sackville's refusal to charge with his 
cavalry when Ferdinand had called upon him to com- 
plete the rout the infantry had begun. Every one now 
knew him for the man he was ; at last it was clear 
enough how little chance a combined expedition ever 
really had with him as its moving spirit. But for his 
cowardice — for it could be called nothing else — Minden 
must have been one of the most complete victories in 
history. As it was, it was sufficient to save Hanover for 

^ Hawke's orders to Roddam, Aug. 15 ; to Reynolds, Aug. 26 ; Hawke 
to Cleveland, Aug. 28, Admiralty Secretary, In-lettera, 93. 


another year, and the defensive part of Pitt's system 
ashore was restored almost as completely as it existed 
at sea. 

This aspect of Minden must never be forgotten if we 
would keep a clear understanding of the development of 
Pitt's system. We naturally connect the battle almost 
solely with Sackville's disgrace of the British cavalry and 
that unsurpassed attack of British infantry on the un- 
shaken horse of France. But the masrnificent resolution 


of Ferdinand, the cunning with which he prepared his 
success against heavy odds, and his eye for the moment 
to turn upon his enem}'^, rise above it all. But for his 
victory Hanover must have been lost, and the efforts of 
Saunders and Wolfe, of Boscawen and Hawke, would 
have been of little avail. If the navy was able in 
the end to secure the object of the campaign, it was 
because Ferdinand kept the ring intact at Minden. No 
finer example exists of the use of counter-stroke, of the 
function of attack in defence. 

The victory could not have been more timely. For, 
as Marshal Contades was preparing to sweep Ferdinand 
before him and reoccupy Hanover, the great French naval 
concentration had begun. Bompart we know was on 
his way home to Brest ; Conflans was making his final 
preparations ; and on August 5th, four days after Minden 
was fought. La Clue put to sea from Toulon. There 
was nothing to stop him, and ten days later, just when 
Hawke was extending his blockade to meet the expected 
movement of D'Aiguillon's transports, he was able to pass 
out of the Straits untouched. 

For the moment, then, the fate of the great French 
counter-stroke lay between La Clue and Boscawen. What 
had happened was this. It was now nearly three months 
since in the middle of May Boscawen had found Brodrick 


off Toulon and had taken over the command. The 
secret orders ho brought out reflected the spirit that 
prevailed at home when he had sailed. There was no 
suggestion of an invasion to be stopped. In the time- 
honoured form ho was instructed that the principal 
intentions of the Government in sending him out were 
to annoy the enemy, secure Gibraltar, and protect the 
trade.^ His method of performing these functions was 
from the first moment he arrived, to establish a close 
blockade of Toulon and Marseilles, while his cruisers 
were distributed at all the well-known focal points, or 
escorting the convoys along the well-known routes. It 
was the direct and obvious way to carry out the Govern- 
ment's intentions, and the annoyance to the enemy was 
all they could wish. So close was Boscawen's blockade, 
so daring the activity of his fireships, that the Toulon 
squadron had retired into the inner road under the guns 
of the fortress. Captured letters told him the people 
were fearing a descent at any moment. Besides his 
dozen cruisers he had thirteen of the line and two 
" fifties," and they could not believe so large a fleet 
meant only a blockade. The disturbing effects of Pitt's 
previous descents were still working, and between Toulon 
and Marseilles there were no less than ten battalions 
of regular infantry, besides the militia.^ Boscawen's 
movements seemed to have threatened attacks in various 
places, and the troops were constantly marching to oppose 
them. On Juno 7th a very daring piece of service in- 
creased the effect. Two French frigates trying to got 
into Toulon had been forced to anchor in a small bay, 
now known as the Anse de Sablettes, immediately south 
of the entrance of the port. Like all the coast, the 

' Secret Orders, 1331, March 28. 

* In-lettcrs, 384, May 30 aud^June 1. 


place was bristling with batteries, but Boscawen sent 
in the Culloden, Conqueror, and Jersey to try to destroy 
the frigates. For an hour they had to endure the fire 
of nine batteries, and then, with their mission unaccom- 
plished, they had to come away in such a condition that 
the Culloden was sent to Gibraltar to refit. 

Till the end of June his activity kept the coast in 
perpetual alarm, but then it became necessary to carry the 
whole squadron to the coast of Spain to water, and thence 
to Gibraltar to revictual. Till nearly the end of July 
he lay in Salou Bay, close to Tarragona, which he de- 
scribes as the best watering-place in all the Mediterranean. 
Then he moved on to Gibraltar, where he arrived on 
August 3rd. Here he received a modification of his 
original instructions, which had been sent off at the end 
of June after the discovery of the formidable nature of 
Belleisle's plan. The new orders reveal the new anxiety 
about a naval concentration upon Brest. He was told 
that, notwithstanding any former order, if the Toulon 
squadron got out of the Straits and he heard it was 
bound for Brest, Rochefort, or any Atlantic port, he 
was to detach part of his squadron to England or to 
come home himself, at his discretion, leaving behind 
him at least seven of the line and all the frigates for 
the protection of Gibraltar and the other Mediterranean 

It was at this moment that La Clue had completed his 
crews, and on August 5th, by which time he must have 
known that Boscawen had just sailed to Gibraltar to refit, 
he put to sea. His force was ten of the line, two 
" fifties," and three frigates, quite enough to force the 
Straits when Boscawen's fleet was more or less disabled 

* Secret Ordert, 1331, June 29; Boscawen to Cleveland, /n-/e«cr«, 384, 
Aug. 8. 



in the process of refitting. For ten days or so it was 
actually in this condition, and practically out of action. 
But so soon as it was nearly ready for sea again Boscawen 
sent out the only two frigates he had with him to watch 
for La Clue's coming. One was to cruise off Malaga and 
the other across the entrance to the Straits between 
Estrepona and Ceuta. Boscawen had thus changed his 
close blockade for an open one ; that is, he left La Clue 
free to come out, and was waiting for him at the point of 
his line of passage, where contact was practically certain. 
Whether it was a mere result of his necessities or the 
outcome of mature calculation, no strategy could be 
sounder. So long as his object was to secure trade and 
annoy the French, the close blockade and the threats to 
the coast were the best method of attaining it ; but when 
the object was to demonstrate to France the futility of 
her trying to recover her position by an invasion, the 
actual destruction of La Clue's fleet was indicated. A 
decision was wanted, and open blockade was the best way 
to secure one. 

If Boscawen had indeed opened the blockade deliber- 
ately, he had certainly calculated his time much too 
narrowly. When on August 17th La Clue appeared on 
the scene the British refit was not complete, and there 
was every chance of his getting through. His idea had 
been to make the Barbary coast, steal along it to the 
entrance of the Gut, and then run through under a press 
of sail in the night. The game was well played, and only 
detected when it could not be stopped. It was already 
nightfall when one of Boscawen's scout frigates came 
flying in to report the French fleet just east of Ceuta. It 
was eight o'clock before she could give the alarm, and 
nothing was ready. Boscawen's flagship, the Namnr, had 
her sails still unbent ; other ships were equally unpre- 


pared, and all of them had parties of men ashore. To 
make matters worse, the admiral and several of the prin- 
cipal officers were away dining with the Governor of San 
Roque. Somebody in the flagship, however, was bold 
enough, possibly by previous orders, to make the signal 
to unmoor. It was seen from San Roque, and broke up 
the governor's party in a moment. From all sides there 
was a stampede for the fleet, officers and liberty men 
getting on board any ship they could fetch. The excite- 
ment and confusion were intense. Yet such was the 
discipline that by ten o'clock Boscawen was able to slip 
and make sail with eight of his own division. Brodrick, 
who had been lying further in, followed not long after 
with the rest. By eleven Boscawen was clear out ofi:' 
Cabritra Point, and there he had to bring-to to hoist in his 
boats and clear-ship. It was a splendid feat of seaman- 
ship, such as only seamen who know the Rock can fully 
appreciate. In less than three hours a fleet of the line, 
moored in a difficult harbour, with sails unbent and the 
admiral absent, had got to sea at night. It would be 
hard to surpass it in all our annals.^ 

Meanwhile La Clue, with a fine easterly breeze behind 
him, had been pushing through the Straits in sailing order 
and unhindered. His plan was to rush past as fast as pos- 
sible with all lights extinguished, and then to make for 
Cadiz in order to rally his fleet, which was sure to have 
got scattered. About midnight, however, he changed 
his mind. He had seen the frigate signal his presence 
and knew she was shadowing him. He had all his fleet 
together, and instead of hauling up for Cadiz he resolved 
to carry on as he was, direct for Cape St. Vincent, while 

* See Admiral Sir Edward R. Fremantle, Boscawen {Twelve Sailors), 
p. 26() ; Ekin, Naval BaWat, p. 36 ; Journal of the Plag-Captain, printed in 
Colomb's Naval War/are, p. 139. 


the wiud held fair, and accordingly he uiade a signal to 
that effect.^ This signal was either not seen or disre- 
garded by the rear ships, which had presumably fallen 
somewhat astern. Still it appears they held on after La 
Clue till about two in the morning. Up till that time 
La Chie says his poop-lanterns were still burning, and 
the whole squadron could be counted. Between two and 
three, however, Boscawens van began to come up and tire 
upon the roar ships of the French. Thereu^^Kin, seeing 
their admiral had extinguished his lights, they thought 
best to act on their original orders and steer for the 
Cadiz rendezvous.^ 

Boscawen, with tine decision, made no attempt to follow 
them. Without wavering a moment, he too held on direct 
for St. Vincent. Wliether it was by instinct or reason 
we canuv^t tell. Possibly his frigate was calling him on ; 
he does not say. Whatever his motive, his action could 
not be more correct. Ho was engaged in an open block- 
ade. Ho had failed to get actual contact at the first 
likely point on the enemy's line of passage. The next 
thing to do was to hurry on to the second. That was 
St. Vincent, and there he reaped his rewarvi. At day- 
break ho saw seven of the line lying-to to leeward of him, 
about thirty miles short of the Cape. It was La Clue 
with all the best ships of his tleot. He had just dis- 
covered that his rearguanl was not with him. Bosoawen's 
fleet also was split into two divisions. Brodriek w.s,s 
still out of sight, and La Clue was hoping the eight sail 
that wore with Boscawen were his own lost rearguard. 

* Thf Kn'tioh h«vl no night ovnupass signals at that tiiu*". Somo French 
aathur:; say h» sigiuillw.1 "*W.N W.." others " wtxstcrly." He j)robably 
signalltHl to " sail Uvrgw on th«i> starUwrvi tack." which, as tho wimt then 
was K.S. K. to E.. would givv a ooursw aK'ut W.N.W.. straight for doubling 
St. Vincont, St'O Coloiub. A'aW tt'arfarr, p. 139. n. 

' Laoour-Gayt>t, Marviui n>u3 Louts .V*'., p. 285; Waddingtoxi, vol. iii. 
p. atJl. 


However, as some of Brodrick's division began to appear 
he grew suspicious and made a private signal. Bosoawen 
of course could not answer, and La Clue held away in 
line ahead under a press of sail. It was then about eight 
o'clock and broad daylight, and Boscawen immediately 
signalled for a chase to the north-west.^ Then hour after 
hour it went on ; but one of La Clue's ships was a 
slug ; Boscawen, moreover, got the best of the breeze ; 
and the French were fast being overhauled. By one 
o'clock they were abreast of Lagos, and though the 
wind was dying away it was clear an action could 
not bo avoided. Both fleets showed their colours, and 
twenty minutes later Boscawen made the signal to 

It was not, however, till half-past two that the CuUodcn, 
who was leadini?', trot into action with the Centaure, the 
rearmost French ship. As the others came up they, too, 
tackled the rearmost ships, doubling on them, and bring- 
ing about a formidable concentration. Tliis apparently 
was not what Boscawen wanted. With Brodrick's division 
rapidly coming up, ho could now make certain of the 
enemy's rear. He wanted to get at the van, and prevent 
any escaping. As yet there was no Additional Instruc- 
tion to meet the case. He could not perform the 
manoeuvre of attacking in inverted order, by which each 
ship as she came up passed on under cover of the one 
already engaged and got alongside the next ahead, till all 
the enemy from rear to van were tackled in succession. 
All he could do was to keep signalling to individual ships 
ahead of him to make more sail. But thoy did not 
understanil, and it was not till four o'clock that he him- 

' The " Instructious " under which these chasing sig:uals were made are 
lost. They are not containtvl in the " Additional Fighting Instructions" 
of the time. See Fijfitiity It^Hruclioiu (iVot'y Rfcords i^iK-icty), p. "204. 


self got up and engaged La Clue's flagship.^ His recep- 
tion was worthy of a French flagship, and after a hard 
fight he had to fall away with his mizzen-mast and main 
and fore topsail-yards gone." In doing so, he came abreast 
the rearmost Frenchman — the obstinate Gentaure — which 
had been battered to pieces by four other ships, and now 
at last surrendered. Meanwhile La Clue was trying to 
make off to the north-east. The " General chase " signal 
had already been altered for " Chase to the north-east," 
and Boscawen, thirsting to renew his action, shifted his flag 
to the Newark (80). All through the night the chase 
went on, guided by the little Guernsey of 50 guns, who, 
having understood Boscawen's meaning, had tried to 
tackle the enemy's van ship and was now far enough 
ahead to keep them in sight.^ 

At daylight they were seen again a few miles ahead, 
making for Lagos. But now there were only four of them. 
Of the original seven, the Gentaure had struck, one was 
making for Rochefort, and another for the Canaries. For 
the rest there was no escape, and La Clue knew it well. 
Determined not to surrender, he ran his splendid flagship 
straight on the rocks, with every sail set and his flag 

^ Boscawen had issued a set of Additional Fighting Instructions when 
he came on the station, but they contained nothing to meet the case 
except a signal for the leading ships to form line, but this was far from 
being the same thing. Subsequently the following instruction was intro- 
duced, and appears in the Additional Instructions used by Rodney in 
1780 : " If the commander-in-chief should chase with the whole squadron 
and would have those ships that are nearest attack the enemy, the headmost 
opposing their sternmost, the next passing on under the cover of her fire 
and engaging the second from the enemy's rear, and so on in succession," 
&c. This was the form of attack which Hawke used against L'Etanduere, 
Oct. 14, 1747, but there the engaging in inverted order of coming up 
seems to have taken place naturally. 

* Boscawen in despatch (In-letters, 384, Aug. 20) says this happened in 
"half an hour." The flag-captain's log says his action with the Oc^an 
lasted till 7.15. 

' The Quernsey was commanded by Lieutenant M. Kearney, her captain, 
Millbank, being absent on a diplomatic mission to Morocco. 


flying. The captain of the Redoubtable followed his 
example. The other two, the T^mdraire and Modeste, 
anchored under some Portuguese batteries. But blood 
was up. The chase was too hot for neutral rights or 
neutral batteries to stop. Boscawen could not hold his 
hand. Against each of the doomed vessels a ship was 
sent in, and they all struck. The OcSan and the Redoubt- 
able were burnt ; the T6m6rairc and Modeste were brought 
out as prizes ; and La Clue's fleet had ceased to be a 
factor in the situation.^ 

This fact, however, was not clear immediately. All 
Boscawen knew was that half La Clue's fleet was still 
unaccounted for, and immediately after his work at Lagos 
was finished he took up his station olF St. Vincent. After 
watching there a couple of days and seeing no sign of 
the missing ships, he felt there was a possibility of their 
having gone northward, and that therefore the situation 
contemplated by the last modification of his instructions 
had arisen. The Toulon fleet had passed the Straits 
bound for the French Atlantic ports, and seven of them 
were still at sea. Accordingly on August 20 th he sent 
home an account of the action, and informed the Admir- 
alty that it was his intention to return to England in 
accordance with his last instructions, leaving Brodrick 
on the station with the seven sail they had ordered.'^ At 
the same time he despatched to Hawke a laconic note 
saying exactly what he had done, and giving him details 
of the number and force of the ships that were missing. 
" I heartily wish," he wrote, " you may meet with them. 

1 All the English authorities state that La Clue died of his wounds 
shortly after the action. Really he returned to France, and was so far 
held guiltless for the loss of his fleet as to be retired, April 1, 1764, with a 
lieutenant-general's pension. — Lacour-Gayet, pp. 261, 469. 

* Boscawen to Cleveland, fn-letters, 384, Aug. 20, "Off Cape St. 


I hope to make sail this evening, and as I am bound 
home will endeavour to fall in with you." ^ 

This resolution was entirely in accord with the state of 
opinion at home. Indeed it so happened that the force 
which he was taking was even less than Anson wanted. 
For on July 25 th, when it was no longer possible to doubt 
that the French really intended to make their desperate 
attempt to invade, an order had been directed to Boscawen 
to bring home ten of the line instead of six." Before it 
could roach him, however, he had repaired the damages 
of the action, and on August 26 th, therefore, the two 
admirals parted company, Brodrick going back to Gib- 
raltar to take up the ordinary duties of the Mediter- 
ranean station, while Boscawen stood north with his 
three prizes. 

The news of what had happened reached home in a 
good hour. Newcastle was getting thoroughly frightened, 
An intercepted letter from the Danish Minister in Paris, 
who had always disbelieved the French would try any- 
thing so mad as Bolleisle's scheme, showed that even he 
was now convinced they would, as a counsel of despair. 
Yet Pitt would not hear of a man or ship being called 
home from the West till Quebec was taken. The militia 
was proving a broken reed ; the nervous Prime Minister 
had confirmation that Thurot from Dunkirk would strike 
at one place while Conflans struck at another, and he was 
wailing to Hardwicke that if La Clue once got to Brest 
nothing could stop the invasion. On September 5th the 
Danish Minister's letter was discussed in the Cabinet. 
Next day came the glorious news. " Now," wrote New- 
castle to his friend, " Boscawen will come back with seven 
ships and three French ones, and two regiments from 

* Burrow's Life of Ifawke, p. 379. 
' Hecret Orders, 1331. 


Gibraltar," " I own," he added, " I was afraid of invasion 
till now." ' 

The news was sent off as soon as possible to the fleet 
before Brest, where things by this time were at high 
tension. During August, while Boscawen was refitting 
in Gibraltar, Hawke's fleet also began to show signs of 
breaking down under the continued strain, and he told 
the Admiralty he could not last unless drastic measures 
were taken to send him relief ships to keep up his 
strength. How weak a form of war is a prolonged close 
blockade Ave have seen in La Clue's almost successful 
attempt to evade. Hawke himself had failed too often 
not to know the danger well. His importunity was not 
understood. At home it was thought he was asking for 
unnecessary superiority, and some friction ensued. He 
quickly replied that he had never asked, and would never 
seek, more than simple equality with the enemy. " I 
never desired," he said, " or intended to keep more line-of- 
battle ships than equalled the number of the enemy, 
which is now augmented to twenty-two." With an equal 
number he did not doubt of success, when a seasoned 
fleet was pitted against one fresh from port. But he 
insisted that his fleet must be kept in battle trim by 
constant reliefs. Not only did ships want cleaning, but 
what was more important, crews wanted rest and refresh- 
ment. So the friction passed, and everything was done 
as Hawke wished. 

In addition to these anxieties, we have seen that the 
harassed admiral had been forced during the last half of 
August to extend his blockade to all the Breton ports as 
far down as the Loire. His last move, it will be remem- 
bered, had been to send Captain Reynolds with a cruiser 

^ Newcastle to Hardwicke, Aug. 31 and Sept. 6, Newcastle Papers, 


squadron before Nantes, with orders if he found the 
transports gone to pursue them to Ireland, and to blockade 
them if he found them still there. He had only just 
heard that Reynolds had them safely blockaded in the 
Loire, when on September 7th an express reached him 
from the Earl of Bristol, our ambassador at Madrid, that 
La Clue had passed the Straits. The news seems scarcely 
to have disturbed him, at least outwardly. Either then 
or the next day he must have received Boscawen's letter, 
for he contented himself with sending word to Reynolds 
that he feared some ships which escaped Boscawen might 
have got into the Basque Roads, and that he was to send 
a frigate or two to see.^ 

It is interesting to note that Hawke's main objective 
and his chief anxiety seems still to have been the trans- 
ports and not the battle fleet. We have seen how he was 
constantly increasing the blockading cruiser squadron. 
His correspondence is full of minute directions for the 
conduct of the transport blockade and the distribution 
of the ships. By the middle of September he had 
even resolved to attempt the destruction of the tran- 
sports where they lay, and for this purpose he once 
more changed the southern command 'and gave it to 
Duff over Reynolds's head.^ Before the new com- 
modore could take over the command, Reynolds had 
to report that the Nantes division of transports had 
come out of the Loire, and had stolen northward to 
join those at Vannes. He had chased them in Quiberon 
Bay, but had only succeeded in driving them into Auray. 

* Hawke to Cleveland, Sept. 7 ; Hawke to Reynolds, Sept. 8. In his 
letter to Cleveland of the 8th he does not mention Boscawen's victory, 
and it is not till the 12th he says definitely he has heard of it {In-letters, 
92). He probably received Boscawen's letter, therefore, on the 8th, between 
his letters to Cleveland and to Reynolds. 

* Hawke to Duff, Sept. 17, In-letters, 92. 


He had held a council of war to consider an attempt to 
destroy them, but the decision was that the operation 
was impracticable. 

A few days later the impression that the French move- 
ment was about to begin was further increased. Three or 
four of the Brest fleet made a demonstration of coming 
out. Hervey engaged them in Camaret Bay, and drove 
them back. Such signs of activity could not be ignored, 
and Hawke sent an urgent order to Duff to go in person 
to Quiberon and see if nothing could be done with the 
transports. Duff had already forestalled the order. 
Having decided to give Reynolds the division watching 
L'Orient, he himself had gone into the Bay, and with 
Reynolds and another of his captains had actually landed 
on the island of Meaban, at the entrance of the Morbihan 
Gulf, where he got a clear view into the Auray River, 
But he could only endorse the decision of the previous 
council of war. He assured himself, however, that by 
leaving the bulk of his squadron in Quiberon Bay he 
could make it impossible for either the transports or their 
escort to come out. This accordingly he did, returning 
himself with his fastest frigates to the Isle de Croix to 
watch L'Orient. 

With this Hawke had to be content, as he now could 
well be. For he had just heard that Brodrick, on his 
way back to Gibraltar, had located the remainder of La 
Clue's squadron in Cadiz, and was blockading it there. 
Hawke therefore had nothing more to fear from that 
quarter, and having received some fresh ships, he felt 
himself able to deal with Bompart, who Avas daily expected. 
Accordingly Admiral Geary was detached down the Bay 
with seven of the line, with orders to lie off Rochefort so 
as to prevent Bompart getting into that port, while at the 
same time he was to keep close touch with Duff so as to 


support him in case of need.^ This bold conception was, 
however, disapproved by the Admiralty. No sooner had 
Hawke announced what he had done than Anson informed 
him that their lordships considered he was devoting too 
much force to Bompart and Rochefort. He was reminded 
that "the particular object of attention at this time" was 
"the interception of the embarkations of the enemy at 
Morbihan, and the keeping of the ships of war from coming 
out of Brest." He was therefore recommended, with some 
asperity, to station his ships accordingly." Hawke, who 
believed he was fully strong enough to deal with Bompart 
as well as Conflans, was nevertheless forced to comply, and 
he immediately recalled half Geary's squadron to his own 
flag and sent the rest to reinforce Duff. It is difficult to 
judge between Anson and Hawke. Had Hawke been at 
Whitehall, saturated with the highly charged political 
atmosphere, he would probably have been as eager as 
Anson to see a rigid concentration of the fleet upon the 
main object. Had Anson, been in Hawke's place, he 
would probably have felt the same breezy mastery of the 
whole situation. It is a case where it is almost impos- 
sible to decide whether the man at headquarters or the 
man on the spot was in the better position to decide. 

At Versailles the tension was no less high than at 
Whitehall. When the news of La Clue's disaster had come, 
Belleisle and his supporters had only set their teeth the 
harder and adopted a still more reckless plan. Conflans 
must do what was no longer in La Clue's power. He 
was told to form a division of six of the line under Bi^ot 

' For the above details see Hawke's Correspondence during September, 
Jn-Utters, 92. 

' Hawke to Cleveland, Sept. 28, with minute endorsed, In-lctters, 92 ; 
Cleveland to Hawke, Oct. 5, Out-letters, 526. Compare a similar rebuke 
administered to Cornwallis in July 1803. — Blockade of Brest (Navy Record 
Society), vol. i. pp. 82-3. 


de Morogues and send it down to Morbihan to set the 
Due d'Aiguillon free and escort him to the Clyde. In 
vain Contians protested against the viciousness of a 
scheme which divided a fleet already far too weak for 
its work. In vain he lamented the soldiers were per- 
mitted to direct what was purely a naval operation. In 
the middle of September the final orders arrived. We 
have seen what came of them. The moment Morogues 
showed his nose outside he was driven in again by 
Hervey and the inshore squadron. Conflans continued 
his protests. Possibly the fiasco of Morogues's attempted 
sortie was only intended to demonstrate their justice. 
In any case no way could be found of disputing his 
arguments. He pointed out that the only possible 
chance of success was to keep the fleet united. Let him 
retain Morogues under his flag, and he himself with the 
whole fleet would go down and set the transports free. 
Choiseul and Belleisle were forced to adopt his view, and 
in the middle of October he was authorised to put it 
in operation. " I leave it," wrote the KLing, " to your 
experience and courage to profit by any circumstance 
you may think favourable to go out and attack the 
squadrons and vessels blockading at Ushant and at 
Belleisle. Then, whether you decide to return to Brest 
for a fresh sortie or whether you keep the sea, I give you 
full authority to go yourself and escort the Morbihan 
flotilla so soon as it is ready to sail. I only bind you 
never to forget that the main point of all our present 
operations must be the greatest safety of the Morbihan 
flotilla." Finally he was told that if he decided to return 
to Brest he was to detach six of the lino and some 
cruisers to convoy D'Aiguillon to his destination.^ 
These orders left Conflans no further ground for 

* Lacour-Gayet, Mariiu sous Louis XV., ch. xx. 


protest. His own plan of operation had been adopted, 
and there was nothing left but for him to go out and 
execute it. The moment, too, seemed favourable. It 
was on October 14th that Louis signed the new orders, 
and that very day, to every one's consternation, Hawke 
reappeared at Plymouth. A gale from the west-south- 
west had forced him to run for shelter and to leave Duff 
clinging alone to the transports at Morbihan. It Avas an 
unhappy hour. For that same day there reached London 
Wolfe's desponding despatch in which he announced to 
Pitt the breakdown of his health, the failure of his plans, 
and the small hope he had of eventual success. The 
despatch plunged every one into a serious fit of depression. 
As Horace Walpole says : " In the most artful terms 
that could be framed he left the nation uncertain whether 
he meant to prepare an excuse for desisting or to claim 
the melancholy merit of having sacrificed himself with- 
out a prospect of success." ^ 

Newcastle believed the game in Canada was lost. He 
told Hardwicke that Pitt was of the same opinion, and 
said so openly. Anson still maintained stoutly that 
Quebec would fall. But then he had not seen Wolfe's 
despatch. " If he had," wrote Newcastle, " he could not 
be of that opinion." The old First Lord was equally un- 
moved at Hawke's being driven off.^ Nor would Hawke 
himself hear a word of the croaking. He assured my 
lords that Conflans could not stir in such weather. His 
enforced absence was therefore rather a stroke of luck, for 
he could fill up with water for three months. There was 
no foundation, he protested, for the present alarms. Duff 
would be able to ride out the gale where he was and 
prevent the transports moving; and so long as the 

* Memoirs of George II., vol. iii. p. 218. 

"^ Newcastle to Hardwicke, Oct. 15, Newcastle Papers, 32,896. 


weather kept his own fleet from resuming its station, it 
must also prevent Conflans from moving his. So con- 
fident indeed was he in his ability to deal with the 
situation that, so far from agreeing with the alarmists, 
he did not scruple to express his chagrin at having being 
ordered to call off Geary, and begged, as there were now 
plenty of ships at home, that he might be reinforced 
sufficiently to extend his blockade to Rochefort. As for 
himself, he did not mean to set foot out of the Ramillies, 
his flagship, and expected to be at sea again in a 
few days. 

Still, there were other causes of anxiety at sea which 
the landsmen could not shake off'. Rodney had found it 
impossible to make any further impression on the flat- 
boats at Havre. So active was the French defence that 
the bomb-vessels could no longer get near them, and it 
was only with the greatest danger and difficulty he could 
even maintain the blockade. Then in the depth of the 
depression came the news that the blockade of Dunkirk 
had been broken. Boys had been driven off in a violent 
storm. No one knew what had become of him, and 
Thurot had seized the opportunity to make his escape 
with his whole squadron. 

This last stroke, however, had hardly been realised 
when the whole scene was changed. The widespread 
depression disappeared as by magic, and the sturdy con- 
fidence of Anson and Hawke was echoed in a shout of 
triumph from end to end of the country. Three days 
after Wolfe's melancholy letter had been received, and 
the very night of the news of Thurot's escape, Pitt, just 
before midnight, was breaking open Townshend's despatch, 
which announced that Quebec had fallen. No such re- 
action had ever been seen. " The incidents of dramatic 
fiction," says Walpole, " could not be conducted with 


more address to lead an audience from despondency to 
sudden exultation, than accident prepared to excite the 
passions of a whole people. They despaired — they 
triumphed — and they wept — for Wolfe had fallen in the 
hour of victory ! Joy, grief, curiosity, astonishment, were 
painted in every countenance ; the more they inquired, 
the higher their admiration rose." 

In the enthusiasm of the moment the alarms of in- 
vasion were forgotten. Indeed all immediate danger 
quickly ceased. In a few days it was known that Boys 
and his squadron were safe and in hot chase of Thurot. 
A squadron had been sent to head him off from Emden, 
which was believed to be his most likely objective. That 
important post was safe at any rate, and Thurot was 
known to be speeding north for Sweden.^ Rodney about 
the same time sent in word that the flat-boats at Havre 
seemed to be on the point of starting ; but no one cared. 
For — best news of all — on the 20 th Hawke had been able 
to resume his station off Ushant, and the French enterprise 
looked more desperate than ever. Conflans had not 
stirred. He was still bombarding the Ministers with re- 
quisitions. Crews, stores, ships, everything was defective, 
and he practically refused to take his fleet to sea in the 
condition it was, without victuals or seamen. The truth 
was that trained sailors were no longer to be had, and a 
convoy of storeships on which Conflans depended for 
victuals had been driven into Quimperle by Hawke's 
cruisers. Its escape was out of the question. The stores 
had to be landed where they were, a hundred miles from 
the fleet, and laboriously carried by the almost impassable 
Breton roads to Brest.'^ 

Under the circumstances Hawke continued to press his 

1 Newcastle to Hardwickc, Oct. 20. 

* Hawke to Admiralty, Oct. 10, fn-letters, 02. 


idea of extending the blockade to Rochefort, so as to in- 
tercept Bompart. Anson approved, but at the same time 
he sent out a very serious piece of intelligence which 
must have rejoiced Hawke's heart. On October 11th 
Choiseul, still bent on inducing the Swedes to co-operate 
Avith D'Aiguillon's attack on Scotland, had sent to the 
French ambassador in Stockholm details of the final 
arrangements, and particularly the heroic resolution that, 
desperate as it was, " the essential enterprise "' was to 
proceed in the teeth of the British fleet, and that Conflans 
had positive orders to go out and fight Hawke, in order 
to cover the sailing of D'Aiguillon's transports. This 
letter was intercepted, and its material contents im- 
mediately sent on to Hawke. He was therefore warned 
that the Admiralty was sending him every ship it could 
lay hands on, but that, until he had enough to make sure 
of Conflans, he was to send no detachment to Rochefort.^ 
Still, October passed into November and neither Con- 
flans nor the transports moved. Hawke clung to his 
station, battling with incessant heavy weather. The 
strain was terrible. Hervey completely broke down : 
ships were continually reporting dangerous leaks, and 
Hawke began to grow anxious. He warned the Admiralty 
he might at any time have to let go, and if so it would now 
be a case of running for Torbay, as Plymouth Sound was 
no place for three-decked ships in winter. Two days 
after he had penned the warning the expected gale was 
upon him, and on November 10th he reported himself in 
Torbay. He had received at last the Admiralty's full 
approval of his design to intercept Bompart, but the 
arrangements he had been on the point of making had 
now to be abandoned. Nevertheless he had still little 

* Choiseul to Havrincour, Oct. 11, Newcastle Papers, 32,896; Hawke to 
Admiralty, Oct. 24, with answer endorsed, Oct. 29, In-letters, 92. 


anxiety except for the two ships of the line that were 
supporting Duff's cruiser squadron at Quiberon. He ad- 
vised that they should be immediately called off. " If," 
he wrote, " Avhich is very probable, the enemy should 
escape me and make their push there with their whole 
squadron, these two ships will be of little avail, and with- 
out them the five ' fifties ' and nine frigates would be a 
much more manageable squadron, and therefore better 
able to preserve itself till my arrival." In view of what 
afterwards occurred, the letter is interesting as showing 
how clearly he shared with Anson the view of what was 
the main objective, and what the point on which his eyes 
must be fixed. For the present he had no fear. " It blows," 
he said, " a mere frett of wind from the north-west. Bom- 
part may get in, but nothing can come out."^ He had taken 
every precaution for locating Conflans the moment the 
weather changed; and he knew exactly what to expect. Be- 
fore he was driven off Duff had procured for him, through a 
Portuguese skipper, information of the exact position of 
the Morbihan transports and D'Aiguillon's troops, and that 
they were not to sail till the Brest squadron came round 
to raise the blockade.^ Accordingly Duff had received 
standing orders, in case Hawke were driven off' by a gale, to 
cruise with his own "fifty" and two frigates before Brest, so 
soon as the weather would permit. If anything came out 
that he could not deal with, he was to send a frigate into 
Torbay and himself to shadow the enemy till he was certain 
of their objective, and then to report to the Admiral ty.'"' 

On November 12th the weather moderated a little, and 
Hawke at once put to sea. But it was only to be driven 

^ " More " is here used in the old sense of " unmitigated " ; " Frett " = 
squally storm. 

« Duff's report to Hawke, Oct. 18, In-letters, 92. 

3 Hawke to Admiralty, Nov. 10, enclosing Duff's orders of the 3rd 
In-letters, 92. 


back to Torbay again next day, with the Ramillies in such 
a condition that he had to condemn her for winter work 
and shift his flag to the Royal George. On the morrow, 
the 14th, he was out again laboriously trying to resume 
his station. On the 16th, as he was then still short of 
Ushant, he grew seriously anxious about Duff, and decided 
to send him orders to leave only four frigates with the 
fireships and bomb- vessels in Quiberon Bay : to station 
three frigates off L'Orient, and himself with the rest of 
the squadron to cruise off Belleisle in such a position as 
best to cover the Quiberon detachment, and at the same 
time have sea-room to escape being surprised by Conflans. 
The fate of these orders is well worth recording. They 
were entrusted to a favourite young officer of Hawke's 
called Stuart, who had been his second lieutenant in the 
Ramillies, and who, when she was condemned for the winter, 
had been given the command of the Fortune sloop. On 
his way to Quiberon he fell in with the H4h^, a French 
forty-gun frigate belonging to Conflans's squadron. She 
was under jury-masts, and, eager to flesh his new com- 
mission, he immediately attacked her. The recklessness 
and obstinacy with which for several hours he clung to a 
ship of three times his force compels a certain admira- 
tion, but nothing could be more unsailorlike, and scarcely 
anything deserves more serious reprobation. In the end 
he was killed, his ship reduced to a wreck, and his 
message — on the prompt delivery of which hung, for all 
he knew, the fate of the whole of Duffs squadron — never 
reached its destination. As it happened, it did not 
matter. An hour or two after the orders were despatched 
Hawke knew they must bo too late. The crisis had come.^ 

* For the Fortune episode see Hawke's Despatch, Nov. 24, In-letters, 'J2, 
and Lacour-Gayet, p. 338. The Hibe had been dismasted in a collision on 
the 18th. 


What he had anticipated had happened. On Novem- 
ber 5th, as he was battling with the weather, Marni^re, 
returning from an unsuccessful cruise, had slipped in with 
a ship of the line and a frigate, and two days later as 
Hawke, in a westerly gale, was vainly trying to double 
Ushant in order to run into the Channel, Bompart had 
arrived with seven of the line and another frigate. None 
of these vessels, it would seem, were fit to take the sea 
asfain, but some of their crews were. Conflans was thus 
able to complete his companies with good seasoned men, 
and, having no further ground for delay, on November 
14th he put to sea with twenty-one of the line and five 

Duff, not having received any fresh orders, was still 
clinging tight to his station in Quiberon Bay, The 
L'Orient division was also there, having run in presum- 
ably for shelter during the gale, though they sailed to re- 
sume their station the day Conflans came out.^ His exit, 
however, had been seen by Captain Ourry of the Adceon, 
who all through the gale had clung to his post off Brest." 
He immediately sent word to Hawke's rendezvous, but the 
message missed him, and for a good reason. Before the 
rendezvous was reached he had received later and better 
information. Late in the afternoon of the 16th, some 
forty-five miles west-north-west of Ushant, he fell in with 
four victuallers returning empty from Quiberon. One of 
them, the Love and Unity, informed him that the previous 
afternoon at two o'clock they had sighted the French fleet 
about seventy miles to the westward of Belleisle, working 
to the eastward. By the skipper's report, it consisted of 
eighteen of the line, besides three frigates, which were 

* Duff to Hawke, Oct. 18, Jn-httfrs, 92; and Log of tlio Rochester (DxxS's 
flagship), Nov. 14. — Captains' Logs, p. 792. 

• Captain Ourry's Intelligence, Oct. 14, In-lctters, 92. 


chasing the Juno towards Quiberon.^ The Jano was 
one of the L'Orient blockading squadron who had left 
Quiberon after the rest.^ On her way to her station she 
had fallen in with the Sivallow sloop, who reported that she 
had just seen the French fleet. Both vessels attempted 
to get back to warn Duft'; but, whether from being chased 
or from the change in the weather, they both failed, 
and the Juno, getting clear of the chasing ships, hurried 
north to Hawke's rendezvous.^ But she also missed him, 
for Hawke had already acted on the information he had 
chanced to get from the Love and Unity. Leaving word 
for Geary, whom he had sent into Plymouth to land the 
sick and bring out what ships were there, to take his 
station oft' Brest, he had then and there made for Quiberon 
as hard as he could go, with the twenty-three of the line 
he had with him. Writing to the Admiralty next 
morning, the I7th, he says, "I have carried a press of 
sail all night, with a hard gale at south-south-east, in 
pursuit of the enemy, and make no doubt of coming up 
with them at sea or in Quiberon Bay." 

Much has been written of Hawke's profound strategic 
insight in taking this decision ; but in truth insight had 
little to do with it. It was something better. The 
correctness of his move was not due to inspiration, but to 
sober preparation beforehand, combined with the excellent 
work of the intelligence department at home. Acting on 
this basis Hawke was able, by well thought-out cruiser 
work, to ensure that if Conftans put to sea he would 
immediately know for certain on which of his possible 
objectives he was bent. It is true a lucky chance had 

^ Log of the Royal Oeorge, Captains' Logs, 811 ; Admiral Geary to the 
Admiralty, Nov. 17, In-letters, 93. 

- Log of the Rochester. 

' Admiralty Advices, Nov. 19, Newcastle Papers, 32.898 ; Hawke to 
Admiralty, Nov. 17, Jn-letters, 93. 


enabled him to anticipate by some hours his cruisers' 
information. But apart from this, as to what Conflans's 
objective would bo, and what in any case was the main 
danger to go for, there was no room for doubt at all, and 
had been none for at least two months. It was just no 
more and no less than a piece of just appreciation and 
admirable organisation, and it requires no false colour of 
inspiration to make it glow in naval memory. 

The Juno not finding Hawke at his rendezvous, and 
having heard apparently what he had done, held on to 
carry the news home. Thus, so far from causing any 
panic, it seems to have been received with elation. There 
had been some alarm for Ireland. Pitt had recently told 
the Duke of Bedford, the Lord-Lieutenant, plainly that at 
this season of the year it was impossible to maintain a 
strict blockade, and that the enemy might at any time 
elude Hawke and appear on the Irish coast. Ireland 
must therefore make ready to defend herself till assistance 
could reach her. The announcement was received with 
enthusiasm in the Irish Parliament, but there the matter 
ended and very little was done.^ In England every one 
was now certain Conflans must be caught, and Newcastle 
wrote in high spirits to reassure Bedford. It was thought, 
he said, impossible for Conflans to escape, and as to fight- 
ing, Anson treated it as the idlest notion. Moreover, 
they were in a very strong position at home. The day 
after Hawke had been driven into Torbay, both Holmes 
and Durell had reached Spithead with the bulk of the 
Quebec Heot, and they reported that Saunders with the 
rest was close behind them.^ Newcastle therefore con- 
tinued to write in the same triumphant strain. He told 

1 Newcastle Papers, Nov. 1, 32,898. 

2 Holmes to Admiralty, and Durell to same, Nov. 11, In-lcttcrs, 481. 
They made the passage from the Gulf of St. Lawrence in sixteen days. 


Yorke, at The Hague, that they were looking forward to a 
battle which would give the coup de grace to the French 
marine and decide the whole war, nor wore they in the 
least uneasy about it. 

But this was not all. For now came news which raised 
the prevailing elation to real enthusiasm. "We are in the 
highest spirits from expectation," Newcastle wrote to 
Yorke, " Sir Edward Hawke is now joined by Geary and 
the brave and judicious Admiral Saunders in pursuing 
Monsieur Oonflans." It was true. On the 19 th Geary 
had got to sea with three of the line before Hawke's 
order reached him, and instead of proceeding off Brest, 
he too had held away for Quiberon.^ On the same 
day Saunders, with Townshend in his flagship, and 
accompanied by two other ships of the line, had reached 
within about fifty miles of the Lizard, and there, within 
a few hours of the repose and honours which he and his 
men had so richly earned, he fell in with Captain Phillips 
of the Juno, whom Geary had sent out again to try to 
find Hawke. On hearing his news, Saunders, without a 
moment's hesitation, had made up his mind, and in a 
stirring little note which he sent off to Pitt, he laconically 
informed him of his meeting with Phillips and his news. 
" I have therefore," he wrote, " only time to acquaint you 
that I am making the best of my way in quest of Sir 
Edward Hawke, which I hope his Majesty will approve 
of." 2 So soon us his resolution was known, a shout of 
applause went up from every side. Even Hardwicke was 
moved. " The part," he wrote, " which Admiral Saunders 

^ For Geary's movements and orders see Hawke to Admiralty, Nov. 16 ; 
Geary to same, Nov. 17, 18, and 26, In-letters, 93. 

2 Saunders to Pitt, Nov. 19, " Lizard N.W. by W. 17 leagues," and 
Nov. 24, " Off Isle Groas," S.P. Colonial (A. and W. /.), 88 ; Chatham MSS. 
79. He had with him Somerset (fiag), Devonshire, and Vanguard. — 7'ownj- 
hend's Life, p. 251. 


has taken voluntarily is, I think, the greatest I ever 
heard of." ' 

So across the stormy waters of the Bay the squadrons 
were gathering for the linal act of that immortal year. 
And as day by day went by and no word came from 
Hawke a reaction set in at home, and the first feelings 
of elation began to give way to nervous anxiety. Yet 
Hawke was playing his part with a directness that left 
nothing to be desired. Conflans's conduct is less easy to 
explain. Ten days before putting to sea he had told 
Berryer, the Minister of Marine, that his intention was 
to avoid action so as not to bring the Morbihan project 
to nothing. If, however, an action were forced upon 
him he would fight with all the glory possible. What 
was really in his mind is hard to say. On the balance 
of evidence, the French incline to the belief that he 
meant to avoid action at all costs, but the case is far 
from clear.^ 

On the eve of coming out he wrote to D'Aiguillon 
that his main object was to join hands with him, and 
then to escort his transports out with all the security 
that was possible.^ On the other hand, there exists a 
remarkable memorandum or general order which he issued 
on coming oiit, from which it would appear the recent 
gale had made him more hopeful. At any rate it is clear 
that in this order he intended to persuade the fleet he 
was eager for battle, and thought his chances good. The 
document shows considerable tactical ability. He hoped, 
he said, to find the British fleet broken up into detach- 

1 Newcastle Papers, 32,899, Nov. 21-23. 

2 His latest French critic is of this opinion. Sec Lacour-Gayet, Marine 
sous Louis XV., p. 329. Conflans's letter, given in Beatson, vol, iii. p. 247, 
is apocryphal, a burlesque written by an officer of Keppel's ship, the 
Torbay. See Burrow's Life of Hawke, p, 412. 

» Waddington, vol. iii. p. 3G8. 


ments, and to be able to crush tbem in detail. If, 
however, he found it all together, he meant to attack from 
to-windward as close as possible. If the British had the 
wind and would not come to close action, he meant to 
keep away and then suddenly haul to the wind, which 
would certainly bring the fleets together. He impressed 
the tactical importance of concentration, and of trying to 
reduce the eneni}^ unit by unit in the most modern style. 
He was absolutely determined, he said, to fight at musket- 
shot or closer. For this purpose he formulated a method 
of oblique approach identical with that which Byng had 
attempted at Minorca, in order to keep the broadsides 
bearing as the fleet ran down to attack, and to avoid 
being raked. Disabled ships of the enemy were to be left 
for the frigates to secure. Finally he noted that board- 
ing in line was an almost impossible manoeuvre, but that if 
he saw it was desirable he would make the signal, and all 
were to board their opposite number simultaneously.^ 

It is of course possible that this spirited order did 
not represent his real mind, but was rather intended to 
enhearten his desponding fleet. Moreover, whatever his 
real intention, he has always been accused of executing 
his movement on Morbihan with unpardonable slowness 
and hesitation. Here again it is doubtful whether the 
accusation is just. Owing to various accidents, it was 
not till the 15th that he got the whole fleet to sea. 
By midday on the 16th he was already half-way to his 
destination, that is, about seventy miles west of Ijelleisle. 
In the afternoon, however, the wind veered east-by- 
south, and then it was Conflans was seen by the British 
victuallers from Quiberon, trying to work against it to 
the eastward. But his eflbrts were in vain. The wind 
rapidly increased to a gale with heavy seas, and he was 

^ Troude, Bataill-es Navales de France, vol. i. p. 382. 


forced to bear up and run ; nor could he stop before he 
was a hundred and twenty miles west of Belleisle.^ It 
was not till early on the morning of the 18ih that he 
was able to begin reaching back, and even then he could 
not hold a true course. The wind had settled in the 
north-north-east, so that to make his easting he had to 
stand far to the southward, and when on the afternoon 
of the 19th the breeze died away he found himself 
becalmed seventy miles south-west of Belleisle, and no 
nearer to his destination than he was when the Juno 
sighted him on the 15 th. It was not till nearly mid- 
night that the wind came again. It was now fair from 
the westward, and he was able to signal to fill and hold 
away for Morbihan.^ 

It was really not a bad performance. Hawke, with all 
his skill as a seaman and his highly trained and homo- 
geneous fleet, had been able to do little better, but being 
well to northward of his destination the northerly winds 
had lost him nothing, and he had been able to gain a 
day on his adversary. The easterly gale had struck him 
soon after he received the victuallers' report, but, being 
nearer inshore than Conflans, he was better able to hold 
up to it, and by noon on the 18 th he had gained to the 
eastward, and was reaching on the north-north-east wind 
parallel to Conflans, and on what was for him his true 
course. Thus when the fair wind failed he too found 
himself only seventy miles from Belleisle, and at noon 
was lying-to west-by-north of it under double-reefed 
topsails in heavy squalls from south-by-east.^ By seven 

1 Conflans to D'Aiguillon, Nov. 21, Troude, vol. i. p. 401. 

2 Couflans's Official Despatch, ibid., p. 386. 

' Hawke's noon positions were : 16th, Start N.E. by N. 30 leagues ; 17th, 
Ushant E. by N. 18 leagues ; 18th, Penraarks E. by S. 30 leagues ; 19th, 
Belleisle E. by S. 23 leagues ; 20th, Belleisle E. by N. JN. 5 leagues.— 
Captains^ Logs, 811. 


in the evening, however, he felt the westerly breeze, four 
to five hours, that is, before it reached Conflans. With 
the first breath of it Hawke signalled to send up top- 
gallant masts, shake out reefs, and fill, and so under a 
press of sail he bore away direct for Morbihan. At the 
same time Howe in the Magnanime was ordered ahead to 
make the land, and with him were two frigates that had 
recently joined. All that night Hawke held on as he 
was. He seems to have read clearly in the face of the 
skies what must have happened to his enemy, and was 
in hourly expectation of getting contact. At daybreak 
on the 20th he had reached a point some forty miles 
west of north of Belleisle, when sure enough at half- 
past eight one of the ships ahead made the signal for 
a fleet. So Hawke's conviction that he would come 
up with Conflans at sea or in Quiberon Bay proved 

Early in the night, as the fair wind had rapidly 
increased in strength, Conflans had ordered the fleet to 
proceed under easy sail, so as not to make the land 
before daylight, and shortly before dawn he hove-to. In 
this position, a little more than twenty miles west of 
Belleisle, he sighted at daybreak seven of Duffs squadron. 
It was but the evening before that Duff had received any 
warning, and then it was by the Vengeance, another of the 
frigates belonging to the L'Orient division. He was then 
still in Quiberon Bay watching the transports dropping 
down the Vannes River, and joining the frigates in Auray 
in anticipation of Conflans's arrival. It was blowing hard 
from the west-north-west, but during the night Duff 
managed to get the whole of his squadron to sea. So 
soon as they were sighted Conflans signalled for the fleet 
to close and clear for action. But as the light grew he 
saw he had only Duff before him, and signalled to fill 


and give chase.^ Duff divided his squadron and stood 
inshore, half to the north and half to the south. The 
French van stood after one, the centre after the other, 
while the rearguard held the wind to watch some strange 
sails which were appearing to seaward. The French fleet 
was thus getting badly scattered when, just as the chase 
Avas growing too hot to last, Duff saw the enemy haul 
off. Ignorant of the reason, he seized the opportunity 
to send a cutter away to Hawke's rendezvous, which 
reached Plymouth five days later without ever having 
seen his fleet — to the great increase of the anxiety at 

The fact was that just at this moment Conflans had 
found that the strange sails to seaward were the British 
fleet. Directly Hawke's look-out frigate had reported 
Conflans's presence he made the signal for line abreast, 
" in order," as he says, " to draw all the ships of the 
squadron up with me," for, being in cruising order, that is, 
in no particular formation — the roulc libre of the French — 
the admiral would be leading the body of the fleet. As 
this movement began to bring the whole fleet into 
sight, the astonishment of Conflans was profound. So 
soon as he realised the truth, he signalled to cease chasing 
and to close on the flag. His position was very difficult. 
In face of a superior fleet bearing down on him, he had 
to take a prompt decision whether to give battle where 
he was or to continue his movement into Quiberon Bay. 
He decided on the latter, and making the signal for order 

^ Conflans's signals were : 1. Ralliement (Close on the admiral) ; 2. Faire 
le braulebas (Clear for action) ; 3. Attention aux signaux de combat 
(Preparatory for battle signals) ; 4. Prepare for action ; 5. General chase. 

2 Commodore Hanway to Cleveland, Nov. 18 and 25, Netocastlc Papers, 
32,898-9. The fact that the Vengeance did not reach Quiberon till the 
night of the 19th shows that Conflans must have done very well to get his 
fleet there by the morning of the 20th, and acquits him of the slowness 
with which he is usually charged by his countrymen. 


of sailing in single line ahead, he wore and led the way 
for the entrance.^ 

His idea, so he reported, was that he would be able 
to haul to the wind as he entered and form line of battle 
on the weather side of the Bay. In view of his inferiority 
and what his object was, he believed it was the best thing 
thus to take up a defensive position and defy Hawke to 
touch him in the labyrinth of shoals and reefs that would 
surround him if he tried. Seeing how the French ships 
were manned, and how great an advantage Hawke's 
seasoned fleet would have in an engagement in the open 
on a lee shore and in boisterous weather, it is difficult to 
say he was not right in assuming the defensive. It was 
thus he put his case. " The wind was then," he wrote in 
his report, " very violent at west-north- west, the sea very 
high, with every indication of very heavy weather. These 
circumstances, added to the object which all your letters 
pointed out, and the superiority of the enemy . . . deter- 
mined me to make for Morbihan. ... I had no ground 
for thinking that if I got in first with twenty-one of the 
line the enemy would dare to follow me. In order to 
show the course, I had chosen the order of sailing in 
single line. In this order I led the van ; and in order 
to form ' the natural order of battle ' I had nothing to do 
but to take my station in the centre, which I intended to 
do, on the second board, so soon as the entire line was 
inside the bay." 

Nothing really could be more correct. He would at 
least have gained an important point in getting the fleet 
and the transports united in one port. Had they been 
together in Brest it is obvious that the whole expedition 

' His signals were : 1. Lever le chasse ; 2. Ralliement ; 3, Ordre de 
marche sur une ligne ; 4. Preparatory for battle signals ; 5. Prepare for 


would have eluded Hawke at least for a time, and that is 
all that was hoped. Once in a good defensive position in 
Quiberon Bay, all he had to do was to wait till the next 
westerly gale blew Hawke off and then proceed to sea 
with his charge in company, and with every possible 
chance there was of getting it clear away north. On the 
other hand, if he had turned and, with everything against 
him, had fought Hawke, no good could have come of it, 
even if he had sacrificed his own fleet to put Hawke's 
out of action. This is what his critics, and especially 
those of his own country, seem to think he ought to have 
done. But they forget that the force which had held 
D'Aiguillon's transports so long was still there. Duff, with 
his six cruisers, was even then in the act of joining Hawke, 
and the whole coast was swarming with the rest of his 
frigates and their supporting ships. How many men in 
such circumstances would have come to a different de- 
cision from that which Conflans had to take so rapidly ? 
As a piece of pure strategy it cannot be found fault with 
seriously. If it failed, it was because Conflans had failed 
to calculate a factor that was really incalculable. He 
could not calculate that Hawke in such weather would 
continue to carry the press of sail he did and hurl himself 
on a lee shore bristling with every kind of seen and 
unseen danger. He did not know the new English 
manoeuvre which would double the rapidit)^ of the attack ; 
nor could he tell how desperate was the man that was 
tearing after him out of the west on the wings of the 
rising gale. He could not have in mind the ill luck that 
had dogged Hawke's splendid efforts without one break 
from the first shot of the war ; how time after time 
he had missed fleets by the skin of his teeth, in spite 
of unprecedented tenacity and unsurpassed strategical 
cunning till it seemed some curse had doomed him to 


failure for ever. Du Guay, De la Motte, Galissonifere, 
he had missed them all, and Bompart only a fortnight 
before. Was Conflans, too, to slip through his fingers ? 
If Hawke was desperate, who can wonder ? He had to 
break his luck, and there was a demon in him that wild 
winter day that knew no rule or risk. 

About nine Hawke had sight of Conflans, and seeing 
he was making away, he hauled down the signal for 
line-abreast and substituted that for general chase, 
quickly adding one which possibly was now made for 
the first time in action.^ It was a modification of general 
chase — a comparatively recent introduction into the " Ad- 
ditional Fighting Instructions," and possibly of Hawke's 
own invention, as a result of his action with L'liltanduere 
in 1747. It enabled the admiral while in general chase 
to direct the five or seven ships nearest the enemy to 
form line of battle ahead of him as they chased, without 
any regard to their regular stations in the order of battle, 
and to engage as they came up with the enemy, the rest 
of the fleet to support as soon as they could, also without 
regard to their regular stations.^ The signal Hawke made 

^ For Hawke's preparatory movements I have followed his despatch. 
The log of his flagship (Captains' Logs, 811) puts them differently, thus: 
"At 8.0 made signal for the line of battle abreast, two cable's length 
asunder. At ^ past Mar/nanime made signal for a fleet. Made the general 
signal to chase at J. Magnanime made signal for the fleet being an 
enemy." From this it would appear that Hawke signalled "General 
chase " the moment the enemy was signalled. Hawke is confirmed, 
however, by the Warspite (Captains' Logs, 4004) and the Magnanime 
(Master's Logs, 935). The point is of interest as determining whether 
Hawke's first impulse on getting contact with the enemy was to get his 
fleet well in hand or to let it loose upon them at once. There can be 
little doubt he took the steadier course. 

^ Articles IX. and X. of the "Additional Fighting Instructions, 1759." 
The manoeuvre first appears, so far as is known, in a MS. Signal-Book in 
the United Service Institution, dated 175G. 

Article IX. is ; " And if I should chase with the whole and would have 
a certain number of the ships that are nearest the enemy draw into a line 
of battle ahead of me, in order to engage till the rest of the ships of the 


was for seven ships, and he could give the order with the 
lighter heart, owing to his having some hours earlier 
sent Howe forward to make the land. Howe was 
therefore nearest the enemy, and would lead the attack. 
Such was the compliment which in that great moment 
Hawke paid the man of whom he had so much reason to 
be jealous. 

As the admiral made the signal he hoisted his flag, 
and, in spite of the weather, set his topgallant sails. 
Following his example, the rest shook out their topsail 
reefs. Keppel carried so much sail that the water 
poured into his lee ports, and he had to come up into 
the wind. So when Duff saw them he describes them 
as bearing down under a crowd of sail.^ Conflans, in 
his report to the King, said he thought he could well 
get all his ships inside before the enemy ; but he had 
not counted on the nerve of his pursuers, hardened in 
the long and stormy blockade. In the rising gale the 
movement was taking shape with a rapidity beyond all 
his calculation. " All the day," wrote Hawke, " we had 
very fresh gales at north-west and west-north-west, with 

squadron can come up with them, I will hoist a white flag with a red cross 
on the flagstaff of the main topmast-head and fire the number of guns as 
follows [one gun for five ships, three for seven]. 

Article X. " Then those ships are immediately to form the line without 
any regard to seniority or the general form delivered, but according to 
their distances from the enemy, viz. the headmost and nearest ship to 
lead and the sternmost to bring up the rear, that no time may be lost in 
the pursuit ; and all the rest of the ships are to form and strengthen that 
line, as soon as they can come up with them, without any regard to my 
general form of the order of battle." See Fighting Instructions {Navy 
Record Society), pp. 208, 221. 

This whole set of " Additional Fighting Instructions" had probably been 
printed and issued in 1757, for on May 28 in that year Commodore Moore, 
on his way to the Leeward Islands station, entered in his Journal that he 
issued to his captains " The Sailing and Fighting Instructions, with the 
printed Additional Signals and Further Additional Signals." — Moore's 
Journal, K.O. Admiralu' Journals. 

' The logs of the Royal George, Warspite, I'wbay, Rochester, &c. 


heavy squalls. M. Conflans kept going off under such 
sail as all his squadron could carry and at the same time 
keep together ; while we crowded after him with every 
sail our ships could bear." Before them lay the narrow 
entrance to the bay between the La Four shoal to star- 
board and to port " The Cardinals," the last of the long 
range of rocks and islets that continue the Quiberon 
peninsula ; beyond it a lee shore bristling with reefs. 
Yet no one faltered, and hour after hour the wild chase 
went on. 

At half-past two Conflans made the entrance, and 
hauled round The Cardinals preparatory to forming line 
inside. Just then, far in the rear he heard guns, and 
knew that, as will nearly always happen when the admiral 
leads, he had misjudged the speed of his rear. It was, 
in truth, the Wars])ite and one or two other of Hawke's 
ships firing without orders at random range upon the 
rearmost ship of the enemy. It was immediately stopped, 
and the chase went on in silence.^ Howe, in the Magna- 
nime, held on, trying to reach as far towards the enemy's 
centre as he could before attacking. Hawke had made 
the signal to engage so soon as the first shot was fired, 
and it was not long before it was obeyed. The French 
van and centre got clear in, but with the rear it was 
different. They were in no formation, and the leading 
British ships were quickly all amongst them like a pack 
of wolves. Still there was no pause, and Conflans, as 
he says, could see them all crowding into the bay pell- 
mell together. 

All that could be done the French rear-admiral, Du 

1 It is for this reason it is usually said the Warspite was leading. Her 
captain, Sir John Bentley, in his log says fire was opened without his 
orders, and he did not begin again till within musket-shot. He had been 
with his ship at Lagos, and had recently been knighted for his conduct in 
that action. 



Verger, did. But he was battered to pieces by ship after 
ship, and as Hawke himself, just before four o'clock, 
rounded The Cardinals, he struck to the Resolution} At 
the same time Keppel, after recovering himself, had 
engaged the TMs^e, and after a couple of broadsides she 
suddenly went down, a victim to the danger he himself 
had so narrowly escaped. Two other vessels, the Sujyerbe 
and the Juste, shared the same fate, while a fourth, the 
H&ros, struck to Howe. 

Meanwhile the wind had shifted into the north-west 
and thrown Conflans's half-formed line into complete 
disorder. Before the impetuous rush of the British fleet 
the van and centre were huddled in an almost helpless 
throng in the depth of the bay. Seeing it was impos- 
sible to form line where they were, Conflans made a 
signal to wear in succession, in order to clear the tangle ; 
but it seems only to have increased it. " The confusion 
was awful," wrote a French officer, " when the van, in 
which I was, tried to go about. Part could not do it. 
We were in a funnel, as it were, all on the top of 
each other, with rocks on one side of us and ships on 
the other. So we anchored." ^ As for Conflans he had 
made one attempt to get into his station, and seeing it 
was now impossible to take the defensive position he 
had intended, his idea was to lead the fleet out to sea 
again. With this object he bore up for the entrance. 
But here he encountered Hawke coming in. Even in 
the gathering dusk the Soleil Royal was unmistakable. 
Through the murk of the storm Hawke saw a chance of 

^ At this point there is a curious entry in the log of the Royal Qeorge : 
" Fired a shot at the Buxford for her to make sail and engage the enemy." 
Her captain was James Gambler, uncle to Lord Gambler. He had been at 
Louisbourg in 1758, and had just come home from the capture of Guade- 

2 Waddington, vol. iii. p. 371. 


raking her, and in spite of his master's anxious protest 
made a determined push to get across her stern. Seeing 
the flagship's danger, the Intrdpide, a 70-gun ship that 
had followed closely the admiral's movements, thrust 
herself gallantly in between the two giants, and received 
the Royal Georges fire. Though she had baulked Hawke 
of his purpose, Conflans's movement was stopped. In 
endeavouring to avoid Hawke's bold attempt to rake, 
the Soleil Royal had fallen to leeward, and in trying to 
tack to recover her position she fouled two ships that 
were following her lead. The result was she fell still 
further away, and being no longer able to weather the 
Four Shoal, she had to run back and anchor behind it 
off Croisic, at the opposite end of the bay to the bulk 
of the fleet.^ By this time it was five o'clock and nearly 
dark. It was blowing harder than ever ; the sea, even 
in the bay, was running high ; an unknown shore was 
roaring just under their lee; the narrow waters were 
crowded with bewildered shipping. There was no more 
to be done, and Hawke made the signal to anchor. 

So that famous day came to an end. Darkness settled 
down, and all through the night signals of distress could 
be heard above the din of the gale. Whether they came 
from friend or foe no one could tell. It was not till the 
morning broke, dark and stormy as ever, that any one 
knew what had happened. Then it was seen that the 
Resolution was ashore and dismasted on the Four Shoal, 
and the Hdros beside her. The bulk of the British fleet 
had anchored about three miles from Dumet Island, 
which lies off the mouth of the Villainc River. The 
Soleil Royal was in the midst of them, and only eight 
of the French fleet Avere to be seen, anchored beyond 
and inshore of the British line. The rest, including 

' Conflans's Report. 



Bauftremont, the vice-admiral, and Bigot de Morogues, 
had succeeded during the night in doing what Conflans 
had tried in vain. They had got to sea, and were seen 
making for the Basque Roads and Rochefort. One other 
vessel, the Juste, after suffering severely in the action, 
had made for the Loire, and in getting in was lost with 
all hands. 

The position of Conflans was indeed desperate, and 
the moment he realised it he slipped and tried to get into 
Croisic Road, where there were batteries to protect him. 
Hawke immediately signalled the Essex to follow her, 
with the result both vessels brought up hard on the 
Four Shoal beside the H^ros. At the same time Hawke 
made the signal to weigh and attack the rest of the 
French fleet that was lying in the Villaine estuary. But 
his blood had cooled, and he quickly saw it was madness 
to move. " It blowed so hard," he said, " from the 
north-west, that instead of daring to cast the squadron 
loose I was obliged to strike topgallant masts." The 
French vessels seized the respite to escape. So soon as 
the tide began to make, they set to to work into the 
Villaine River, and by dint of jettisoning all their guns 
and gear, and having the wind in their favour, they 
managed to get over the bar. Only three of them, how- 
ever, were ever fit for service again. The rest broke their 
backs on the mud. 

All that day the gale continued to rage and nothing 
more could be done. But on the morrow it moderated 
a little, and three of Duffs ships were sent in to destroy 
the Soleil Royal and the Hiros. Conflans thereupon set 
tire to his flagship, and Duft's people burnt the other. 
Meanwhile Hawke worked the fleet into the Villaine 
estuary, where the French ships had been lying. Here 
he found a more sheltered anchorage, but no means of 


attacking the ships in the river. An attempt with fire- 
boats proved impracticable, and so the long-sought en- 
counter ended. It was not till the fourth day after the 
action that he sat down to write a report of his immortal 
victory. He had lost two ships and between three and 
four hundred men. The French had lost six, one the 
Formidable, Du Verger's flagship, a prize, two, including 
the Soldi Royal, burnt, and three driven ashore, besides 
four as good as wrecks in the Villaine, together with 
about two thousand five hundred men. It proved indeed 
the coup dc grdce of the French navy, but Hawke was far 
from satisfied. " In attacking a flying enemy," he wrote 
apologetically to the Admiralty, " it was impossible in the 
space of a short winter's day that all our ships should be 
able to get into action, or all those of the enemy brought 
to it. . . . When I consider the season of the year, the 
hard gales on the day of action, a flying enemy, the 
shortness of the day, and the coast we were on, I can 
boldly affirm that all that could possibly be done has 
been done. As to the loss we have sustained, let it be 
placed to the necessity I was under of running all risks 
to break this strong force of the enemy. Had we had 
but two hours more daylight, the whole had been totally 
destro3^ed or taken." 

And if he had not fallen in with the victuallers, if he had 
waited till his cruisers gave him the news, what then ? 
He would have arrived probably the next day and found 
Conflans snug in the bay. Before the gale had blown 
out he would have been joined perhaps by Geary, cer- 
tainly by Saunders, who was only just too late to share 
Hawke's triumph. Then he would have gone in with 
perhaps thirty of the line. As the wind was ho would 
have got to leeward of Conflans and prevented all possi- 
bility of escape, either out of the bay or into the Villaine. 


Then there must have been another Battle of the Nile, 
but yet more terrible and destructive, since the numbers 
were so much greater, and the waters more confined. 

Still it was enough. The catastrophe had come, yet 
Hawke could not tear himself away from the scene. In 
his eyes the triumph which awaited him at home was 
nothing compared with the chance of completing his 
work. A flying squadron was organised under Keppel to 
follow the ships that had fled to the Basque Roads. He 
returned in a few days to say that they had all got up 
the Charente, and were as inaccessible as those in the 
Villaine. Meanwhile Hawke, after engaging in an angry 
interchange of notes with D'Aiguillon over a question of 
prisoners, had been making the French feel the penalty 
of their abandonment of the sea. Croisic was bombarded 
for firing on working parties that were trying to salve 
the guns of the Soleil Boyal. Isle d'Yeu, half-way down 
the coast to Rochefort, was seized, its defences destroyed, 
and its cattle carried off to refresh the fleet. In short, 
the movements of his squadrons kept the whole coast in 
alarm, with the effect that, though the English invasion 
was at once abandoned, D'Aiguillon's army remained un- 
available, for it had to be cantoned along the threatened 
shores to save them from attack. 

By the middle of December Hawke recognised that he 
had done his work. On December 9th he had written 
home recommending a division of the fleet into two 
squadrons, one for Quiboron and one for the Basque Roads, 
and the distribution of the frigates and fifties at the usual 
points from Brest down to Bordeaux. At the same time he 
ordered Geary to send home all the ships which had been 
specially ordered out as reinforcenients. A week later he 
asked to be relieved, and early in the new year he was 
permitted to take the rest which he had so hardly earned. 



It is recognised as a fundamental principle that lies at 
the root of the higher strategy that wars tend to exhibit 
two successive phases — phases not always very distinct, 
yet always existing, and so important in their differences 
that unless they be kept firmly grasped the conduct of 
any great war is sure to go astray. There is firstly the 
phase in which we seek to destroy the armed forces of 
the enemy, to overcome his means of attack and resist- 
ance, so that he is no longer able to gain his own object 
or to prevent us from gaining ours. If we are successful 
in this phase, then follows the second, in which we seek to 
exert our ascendency over him by bringing to bear upon 
his national life a general pressure in order to force him 
to accept our terms. In other words, our main objectives 
are no longer his armed forces, but what may be called 
the sources of his vitality ; we direct our efforts to in- 
flict upon him or to threaten loss and suffering which he 
shall recognise as harder to endure than the terms of 
peace we offer. 

In the Seven Years' War, so far at least as England 
was concerned in it, this change — this transition from 
the first phase to the second — began to take place at the 
point we have reached. The complete failure of the 
desperate attempt of France to recover the situation by 
direct counter-attack demonstrated how irrevocably the 
armed forces of England dominated the situation in the 


main theatre of the war. It was clear that for all pur- 
poses of serious attack or resistance the French sea power 
had been reduced to impotence, and seeing the nature of 
the contest and its real object, it was the only kind of 
force that could directly affect the end. It is true Canada 
was not yet completely conquered. There remained upon 
the St. Lawrence a residue of potent armed force that, as 
we shall see, was destined to exhibit an unexpected power 
of resistance. But that made no inherent difference. 
For purposes of war-direction Canada was rightly re- 
garded on both sides as lost. With the naval force of 
France destroyed, the destruction of her power of attack 
and resistance across the ocean could only be a question 
of a few months. The utmost the Canadian forces could 
do was to prolong the transition from the first phase to 
the second. 

By no one was the decisive character of Hawke's 
victory more clearly recognised than by Frederick. 
" This naval battle," he wrote in the lowest depth of his 
fortunes, " is admirable, and comes to us as from the 

In France the point of transition was recognised by 
the collapse of her credit. The financiers saw too well 
that the pressure which England would now bring to 
bear would be mainly against her trade and against 
the Colonies, from which her resources could no longer 
be replenished. It was obvious that her finance was 
shattered, and the Government had to declare itself 
unable to meet its engagements. 

A still more striking indication of the point which had 
been reached is the fact that, as almost always happens, 
there began to appear feverish attempts to patch up a peace 
and end the war. Hawke and his officers were startled 

^ To Finchenstein, Dec. 12, Politische Corr., vol. xviii. p. 693. 


to find themselves face to face with the movement im- 
mediately after the battle. During the course of the 
angry discussion that ensued between Hawke and the 
Due d'Aiguillon over the question of exchanging prisoners, 
Howe had been sent ashore to conduct the negotiations. 
While thus engaged, he was surprised one day by D'Aiguil- 
lon's broaching the subject of a separate peace between 
the two countries without any regard to " Madame 
d'Hongrie," as he called the Austrian Empress. He 
said that his abortive irruption into the British Islands 
had been intended to secure peace, and that he had been 
given full power to treat so soon as he should have estab- 
lished himself in Scotland. These powers, he asserted, 
were still good, and he set himself to cajole Howe by 
all kinds of flattery to act as an intermediary between 
him and Pitt. Howe of course refused, but Hawke 
thougfht it best to send him home at once. He reached 
London at Christmas time, and as soon as he had reported 
himself Anson sent him on to Pitt.^ 

It was a thread of a very tangled skein which Howe 
had found so strangely in his hand. In every court in 
Europe they were pulling at it, and no one could quite 
tell how far his neighbour was committed. It was the 
outcome of a clever idea of Choiseul's to extricate France 
from the war by inducing Spain to mediate for a separate 
peace between France and England. If such a negotia- 
tion could be set on foot it would be sure in any case to 
breed mistrust between England and Prussia. Moreover, 
it was no part of Choiseul's policy to leave Austria with- 
out a rival in Germany, and if the negotiation succeeded, 
France would be able to withdraw from the war before 
Prussia was entirely crushed, without openly breaking 
her ensfagfements with Vienna. On the other hand, if 

^ Anson to Newcastle, Dec. 27, Newcastle Papers, 32,900. 


the mediation were refused, it was very likely to provoke 
Spain into declaring war upon England. The matter was 
put in hand directly after the battle of Minden, when, 
on August 10th, Ferdinand of Spain opportunely died, 
and was succeeded by his brother Don Carlos, King of 
the Two Sicilies, who had the reputation of being a 
devoted partisan of France, and, a man of energy and 
character. The new king, eager to cut a figure in 
Europe, embraced the idea with alacrity. It was shortly 
after the news of the fall of Quebec had come home that 
the subject was definitely put before Pitt by Don Carlos's 
representative in London. He received it with a haughty 
intimation that the time had not yet come for thinking 
of peace. The Spanish agent replied that his master 
only wished to testify his goodwill, but at the same time 
he was bound to add that Spain could not sit still and 
see the balance of power in America entirely upset. The 
idea came on Pitt with disturbing suddenness. He saw 
in a flash the danger of the game that was being played 
on him, quickly recovered himself, and returned a soft 
and temporising answer. 

But the news of Quebec, which hardened Pitt's heart, 
only drove the high spirit of Don Carlos further on the 
fatal path. It was the first thing he heard on landing 
in his new kingdom, and he vowed it froze his blood. 
If France were broken by England, it would be Spain's 
turn next. He was minded, he told the French ambas- 
sador, to act at once, but he must have time to arrange 
his finances, reorganise the army and navy, and repair 
the Colonial fortifications. All this, of course, was 
behind the back of General Wall, who was still at the 
head of the Government and as staunch as ever as to the 
insanity of breaking with England. He was determined 
not to play the new king's ambitious game, and Pitt 


quickly offered him the means of checking it. Before 
Carlos reached Madrid, Pitt's answer arrived. It was to 
the effect that when there was a question of a number 
of allies the difficulties of mediation were very great, 
and for this reason his Britannic Majesty, while highly 
appreciating Don Carlos's good intentions, had decided 
* to propose a Congress of the Powers with a view to a 
general peace. 

This clever parry had been originally the idea of 
Frederick. Early in the year he had suggested that 
England and Prussia should jointly propose such a 
congress. It had been the outcome of one of his periods 
of depression, when he saw no way of continuing the 
struggle. After the disastrous day of his defeat at 
Kiinersdorf on August 12th by the Austrians and Russians 
and the consequent loss of Dresden, Frederick had re- 
curred to the idea. The fact that not only Spain but Den- 
mark also was being pushed forward by France to mediate 
for a separate peace, made the suggestion welcome in 
London. Pitt waited only for the news of Quebec to 
act, and then rushed it through. On October 30th a joint 
declaration in favour of a congress was transmitted to 
Prince Louis of Brunswick, Prince Ferdinand's brother, 
and commander-in-chief of the Dutch army, with a re- 
quest that he would place it before the representatives of 
France, Russia, and Austria at the Hague. He accepted 
the mission, and proceeded to arrange for regular four- 
parlers to open. 

Such was the diplomatic situation while France was in 
the act of hazarding her desperate throw. On November 
25th, before the news of Quiberon had been received at 
the Haofue, Prince Louis had delivered the declaration, 
and it had been fairly well received. The French 
ambassador went so far as to tell the Prince that his 


court was in sore need of peace. He would not say that 
the sortie of M. de Conflans was their last effort, but he 
must own it was one of the last. Choiseul, though he 
quite understood the proposal for a general congress was 
meant to check his game of mediation and a separate 
peace with England, could congratulate himself that it 
also indicated mutual suspicion between England and 
Prussia. In his eyes the anxiety of both powers for every 
one to play with his cards on the table in open congress 
meant that neither power could trust the other. He 
consoled himself with this further reflection : " We know 
that a congress is not always the road to peace, but ex- 
perience tells us it is very difficult for it not to become a 
cause of coldness between allies and soreness with the 
mediators." In any case it was diplomatically impossible 
not to entertain the suggestion, and accordingly the 
negotiations were opened at the Hague under the conduct 
of General Yorke. There m.onth after month they con- 
tinued, with ever-growing insincerity, while the exhausted 
armies lay still in winter quarters. The King of Spain, 
who disliked the Anglo-Prussian move as much as France, 
was still trying to insinuate his mediation in some form or 
other, in spite of Wall's efforts to keep him quiet. In 
line with him France was continuing to play for a separate 
peace with England, to save what colonies she had left, 
and as a step to stop the war before Frederick was 
crushed. Austria and Russia, on the other hand, were 
equally bent on the continuation of the war till Prussia 
was wiped from the map of Europe, while Pitt was 
absolutely inflexible in standing by his ally and in re- 
fusing even to consider any form of peace in which 
Frederick was not included. 

The overtures which the Due d'Aiguillon had made to 
Howe were the first attempt of France to shake Pitt's 


attitude — the first overt act, as Newcastle put it, of her 
desire and hope of a separate peace. No one but Wall 
seemed to believe in England's loyalty to Prussia. The 
French ambassador at Madrid assured him that there 
were clear indications that she was about to abandon her 
ally. " Oh," said Wall, " when you begin to think that, 
I have no more to say to you." Wall was right. The 
negotiations went on actively, but to every trick and turn 
Yorke opposed a blunt insistence on the participation of 
Prussia. Frederick, after some back-hand negotiations 
directly with Versailles, through the medium of Voltaire, 
became as confident as Wall, and finally placed the whole 
of his interests in the hands of the British Cabinet. In 
vain Choiseul went on scheming to open direct com- 
munication with Pitt. The attempt only produced, early 
in April 1760, an ultimatum which led quickly to a com- 
plete rupture of the negotiations. By the middle of May 
the pourparlers came to an end, and there was no doubt 
a new campaign must be opened. 

It was in the black prospects of this campaign on the 
Continent that lay the complication of the British position. 
It has been said that the point of transition between the 
" armed force " phase and the " general pressure " phase 
had been reached in all but one area of operations. 
Though generally true of the war between France and 
England — the maritime war, as it was called — throughout 
the negotiations it was not true of the Continental sphere. 
There neither side had achieved a real domination, and 
it was still reciprocally a question of destroying armed 
forces. Yet everything pointed to the probability that 
those of Frederick could not possibly endure another 
campaign, and if he succumbed it would be out of the 
power of Ferdinand to continue the defence of Hanover. 
Soon after the opening of the negotiations for the con •■ 


gress, Ferdinand had made " a most secret and private " 
appeal to Pitt on the subject. " The army of the King 
of Prussia," he wrote, " has melted away to half what it 
was at the beginning of the campaign. I have good 
reason to doubt whether he can possibly recruit his regi- 
ments and mend everything for the next campaign. . . . 
What is more, the enemy, remaining masters of Dresden, 
can open the campaign when they will, that town serving 
them as a iilact d'armes et d'appui. If the Russians re- 
appear at the same time, I don't know what will happen." 
The only salvation he saw was in making peace with 
France before the campaign opened. Mitchell, our 
ambassador with Frederick, sent home an equally de- 
sponding account. He spoke of the ten months' arduous 
campaign, the exhaustion of the troops, the two battles, 
Kiinersdorf and Maxen, lost, with twenty-one battalions, 
forty-five squadrons, and all the best officers taken 
prisoners. To make peace with France and hold back 
Russia was the only way to save Frederick from being 
lost beyond hope. The picture was not exaggerated. 
Frederick himself, in his secret correspondence, was paint- 
ing it in still blacker colours. But for Ferdinand's victory 
at Minden all would perhaps have been lost already. The 
whole foundations on which Pitt's war-plan had been 
built were shaking, and something must be done to save 
them, or it would be impossible for England to garner 
the fruit of her late glorious campaign. 

It was but natural, therefore, that a feeling should 
arise for drawing on the favourable balance of the mari- 
time war to redress the Continental default. Accordingly, 
at the end of December, as the time drew near for 
settling the distribution of the fleet for the coming year, 
Newcastle broached the old idea of a Baltic squadron. 
He told Hardwickc that nothing could now hurt us 


except Russian action, and that a British fleet was what 
Russia most feared, and what Prussia most ardently 
desired. It would have, in his opinion, the additional 
advantage of checking the negotiations which France 
was carrying on in Denmark and Sweden for a Northern 
coalition against us. As to the Swedish navy, it would 
be able to offer little opposition, since it was only twenty- 
two sail strong, of which six had been disarmed to pro- 
vide France with guns, and four others already had their 
hands full with the Prussian privateers that were operat- 
ing from Emden.^ At Newcastle's request, Hardwicke 
communicated these ideas to Anson. Anson replied in 
a guarded manner that he generally agreed with New- 
castle about a Baltic squadron, if it should be possible 
to spare ships, but that must depend on the final attitude 
of Spain, which at present was very uncertain. He also 
begged to remind Newcastle that the statement of our 
naval force upon which he relied as showing a Baltic 
squadron was possible, exaggerated the number of ships 
that would be at home ; for over and above Hawke's 
squadron, Avhich he regarded as a division of the home 
fleet, they had then thirty of the line employed on 
different foreign stations. Hardwicke threw further cold 
water on the idea upon his own account. When the 
King of Prussia, he said, originally asked for a Baltic 
fleet, it was to protect Pomerania and his ports on that 
side, and, secondly, to terrorise Russia. Now he said 
nearly all the Baltic shore was in Russia's hands, and 
what remained Sweden was too weak to take. Moreover, 
Russia had already sunk back into her old half-hearted 
attitude to the war, and a Baltic fleet was more likely to 
provoke her into fresh activity than anything else.^ 

1 Mem. on the Swedish Navy, Newcastle Papers, 32,900, f. 41G. 
* Newcastle to Hardwicke, Dec. 29, and Hardwicke's answer, Dec. 30, 
Newcastle Papers, 32,900. 


Though Pitt does not appear to have countenanced the 
idea, it must have been talked of somewhat freely. The 
French ambassador in Stockholm assured the Swedish 
Government the squadron was coming, but this may 
have been merely a move against the strong Anglo- 
Prussian party that was growing up out of jealousy of 
Russia's conquest of Pomerania. Still Hopken, the chief 
Minister, professed to be seriously alarmed. He said 
that the Swedish fleet would certainly be beaten, and 
that an English Baltic squadron would have the most 
serious consequences. Still Pitt gave no sign. There 
was, indeed, a very special reason for not proceeding with 
the idea. For at the moment Frederick was engaged in 
an attempt to gain the Russian court by offering a 
bribe of a million crowns to a certain Grand Duke, and 
a demonstration in the Baltic was the last thing that 
was wanted.^ 

The truth was that Pitt's mind was working in quite a 
different direction. From the first, with the unerring 
instinct of the great War Minister he was. his eyes were 
fixed on Spain. At the end of January he had consented 
to send to Prince Ferdinand two more regiments of horse 
and three of dragoons, but there was never a hint of 
entangling the fleet in the Baltic when Spanish arsenals 
were awakening. So concerned indeed was he with the 
outlook in the southern danger area, that he had sent 
the Earl of Kinnoul on a special mission to Lisbon, to 
apologise for Boscawen's breach of neutrality in destroying 
La Clue's ships on the Portuguese coast. 

By April, when it had become clear that the negotiations 
for the congress must break down, and that another cam- 
paign would be necessary, the idea of a Baltic squadron 
seems to have been entirely dropped. Newcastle had a 

^ Chatham Corr., vol. ii. pp. 27-31. 


stormy interview Avith Pitt upon the prospect of a re- 
newal of the war, in the course of which he said he did 
not see how we could carry on another year. Pitt, he 
says, " flew into a violent passion." That kind of talk, he 
said, was the way to encourage the enemy. We were a 
hundred times better able to continue than the French. 
" In short," says the Duke, " there was no talking to him." 
As to the Continental situation, Prince Ferdinand, whose 
Prussian contingent had been recalled by Frederick, was 
still pressing for further reinforcement. Here Pitt took 
a curious attitude. He said he personally would send no 
more troops to Germany, but if others wished it he would 
not oppose. Newcastle's circle thought this meant a fresh 
outbreak of combined expeditions. " Anson," the Duke 
wrote to Hardwicke, " suspects there is some new project 
of an attempt on some part of the coast of France carrying 
on unknown to him," which he said was " monstrous and 
insufferable." Hardwicke replied that he too had his 
suspicions, and though Anson certainly knew nothing of 
any such expedition, he fancied that Howe did.^ 

There is some reason to believe that these suspicions 
were not without foundation. No indication is found, 
however, that what was in Pitt's mind was any operation 
against the French coast. An expedition does seem to 
have been on foot very secretly, but the cotton clothing 
ordered for the troops and the sheathing of the ships gave 
an impression that it was intended for tropical seas. 
Keppel, moreover, was mentioned for the naval command, 
and he was best known for his brilliant conduct of the 
little expedition which had inaugurated the great year of 
victory by the capture of Goree, the French slaving 
station on the West Coast of Africa, and had finally estab- 
lished the British position in that quarter. The im- 

' Newcastle Papers, April 9 and 10, 32,904. 


pression was that his mission was to do in the East Indies 
what he had done on the West Coast by the seizure of the 
French naval bases in those seas at Mauritius and Reunion. 
The miUtary force was considerable, said indeed to amount 
to eight thousand men under General Kingsley ; and 
those who knew were aware that orders had been sent 
out to the admiral on the East Indian station to meet the 
expedition with his whole force at Madagascar.^ 

How far Pitt had really committed himself to devoting 
so large a force to what we have called the " general pres- 
sure " phase of the war is uncertain. The idea was very 
likely strongly in his mind, but his behaviour at this time 
suggests that his instinct for strategy was forcing him 
against his inclination to continue the process of striking 
at the section of the enemy's armed force that was still 
confronting him undominated. It is as though he felt 
intuitively the necessity of breaking it down before he 
could move freely in the second phase of the war. We 
know for certain there was growing in his mind a convic- 
tion that, in view of the overtures of France, a decisive 
blow in Westphalia by Ferdinand was the shortest road to 
peace. Such a blow would bring home to Versailles the 
hopelessness of trying to regain in Hanover what had been 
lost beyond the seas. How coercively this idea possessed 
him will appear later. There can be little doubt it was 
correct. On the Continent the second phase had not been 
reached — there armed forces still remained to be struck, 
and in spite of his antipathy to Continental operations, 
and in spite of his anxiety to reap the harvest of the sea, he 
could not resist the promptings of his unerring instinct 
for war. 

It was such considerations as these that were almost 
certainly at the bottom of the striking change of attitude 

^ Beatson, vol. ii. p. 420. 


which compelled him, as we have seen, to relax the 
stubbornness of his antipathy to sending British troops to 
Germany. Upon Lord Hardwicke's suggestion, he and 
Newcastle had come to a compromise on the point. On 
condition that Newcastle would not oppose Pitt's contem- 
plated Bill for the continuance of the militia, Pitt would 
not oppose sending more troops to Germany.^ Newcastle 
promptly ordered away four battalions of infantry. Pitt 
protested against such a step without the consent of the 
Secret Committee. He insisted on its being convened, 
and thereupon consented to the despatch of six battalions 
and another regiment of horse. But it was on condition 
that they were to be recalled at the end of the campaign, 
or if a new invasion were threatened, and that the best of 
the militia were to be embodied " to make the face of an 
army at home " ; all of Avhich is suggestive of his longing 
to free the regular army for offensive operations abroad. 

In less than three weeks " the glorious reinforcement," 
as Newcastle called it, had sailed from the Nore, this 
time for the Weser instead of Emden. It reached 
Ferdinand's camp by the middle of June, just in time for 
the opening of the campaign. The British troops, now 
under the Marquis of Granby in place of Lord George 
Sackville, numbered about twenty thousand, Avhich, with 
the German troops in British pay, were calculated as 
givmg Prince Ferdinand an army of eighty-eight thousand 
men, without counting Prussians and Hanoverians. It 
was a force which, in view of the diversion caused by the 
presence of the fleet on the French coasts, could be relied 
on to keep Hanover intact. But this was not enough, 
and here arose a question of the deepest strategical in- 
terest, and one which is still amongst the most difficult 
to answer. 

* "Mem. fur the Kiug," April 24, Newcastle Papers, :5L',y04. 


Hitherto the function of Ferdinand's army in relation 
to the whole war had been defensive — to cover Hanover 
while our main offensive proceeded elsewhere. But now 
that something more was required of it — some positive, 
definite gain, and not merely prevention — its function 
became positive, and defensive action no longer sufficed. 
To achieve a positive gain leading by direct pressure to 
peace the offensive is always essential, and somebody, 
probably Pitt, regarded it as a matter of course that " the 
glorious reinforcement " was to enable Ferdinand to pass 
to the offensive. It was an implied if not an express 
condition of the reinforcement that this should be done. 
Newcastle, however, appears to have raised the plausible 
but more than doubtful objection that the general on 
the spot must be the judge. Others were certainly 
determined to dictate the nature of his operations, and 
Newcastle could not understand their attitude. He 
referred as usual to Hardwicke, and the shrewd old 
lawyer laid down the strategical principle as lucidly as 
though it had been a knotty point of equity. " Last 
year," he Avrote, " the question was whether he should 
fight a battle. Of that nobody could judge but the 
general on the spot. But whether the general plan of a 
campaign should be offensive or defensive is a political 
consideration and to be determined upon a great variety 
of circumstances, of many of which the King and his 
Ministers are the most proper judges, though of many 
others of them the commander-in-chief of the army must 
first determine." ^ It would be difficult to carry this 
thorny problem further. Certainly no one has ever done 
so, and in this case it settled the question. 

The point once determined against Newcastle's view, 
we find Pitt going still further on the new line. It was 

1 Hardwicke to Newcastle, June G, 17G0, Newcastle Papers, 32,907. 


never his way to do things by halves, and, moreover, it 
was his inflexible rule that where you take the offensive 
and seek to obtain some positive advantage, there you 
must concentrate every unit you can come by. In June, 
owing to Frederick's finding it necessary to recall his 
cavalry from Ferdinand's army, two more regiments of 
horse were ordered out to fill the gap. But even this 
did not satisfy Pitt. More must and could be spared. 
Ferdinand's offensive opening which was directed against 
Homburg failed, and thereupon Pitt himself took the lead. 
The moment was favourable. A new ambassador from 
Spain, the Conde de Fuentes, had arrived, and was making 
so good an impression in London that an alliance with 
Spain, or at least an entente cordiale, began to look as 
likely as war. At any rate it was clear that Spain was 
not nearly ready for hostilities. The ambassador had 
dropped the question of mediation, and was devoting his 
attention in a very amicable tone to settling the long 
outstanding differences as to our right to cut logwood in 
Spanish Central America. Towards the end of July, 
when Ferdinand's check was known, all looked Avell, and 
Pitt surprised Newcastle by proposing to send out three 
battalions of guards so as to ensure the campaign being 
decisive. Even the King was staggered. At first he 
strongly objected ; but in the end Pitt prevailed, and the 
brigade was promptly sent.^ Meanwhile on July 21st 
Ferdinand had fought and won his brilliant little action 
at Marbourg, mainly by the daring and endurance of 
Granby's troops, and had thereby snatched the initiative 
from his adversary. A fortnight later Frederick stumbled 
on his lucky victory at Liegnitz, at which no one was 
more astonished than himself. What he had struggled 

* Newcastle to Hardwicke, July 21, Newcastle Papers, 32,908 ; Ferdinand 
to Holderness, Aug. 28, ibid., 32,910. 


for in vain with all his art, Fortune suddenly threw into 
his lap ; and thus at the end of August, when the Guards 
reached Ferdinand's camp, everything looked promising 
for a vigorous prosecution of his offensive operations. 

Such, then, after the first two months of the campaign, 
was the condition of affairs in our Continental theatre of 
the war. Shortly, it may be said that our operations 
there, which had been originally of a purely containing 
or defensive nature, had now been complicated with a 
true offensive intention, and were taking on themselves 
the characteristics of a great attack. True, it was an 
eccentric attack, for though aimed directly at the main 
forces of the enemy, it was not aimed at the main object 
of the war or at the forces in the main theatre. It par- 
took, by its very nature, rather of the second phase, and 
was aimed not at acquiring anything more for ourselves, 
but of forcing the enemy to accept the situation, and to 
agree to abandon what she had lost beyond the seas. 

Bearing all this in mind, we are now in a position to 
study the manner in which naval action in European seas 
was related to the new development ashore. In general 
design it was a military blockade of the whole French 
coast from Dunkirk to Marseilles. The operations opened 
with what w^ere really the dregs of the last campaign. 
At the beginning of the new year there remained, 
besides the ships of Conflans's fleet in the Villaine and 
the Charente, two other fragments of the French naval 
force that had escaped destruction. In the south was the 
division of La Clue's fleet which had taken refuge in 
Cadiz, under the command of its senior captain. In the 
north was Thurot, with the squadron he had got out of 
Dunkirk. The former had been engaging Brodrick's 
attention ever since Boscawen's action. The same after- 
noon that he had parted with his chief off St. Vincent 


lie had ascertained from a Glasgow merchantman it was 
in Cadiz. In those days there was no question of intern- 
ing or disarming belligerent vessels which had taken 
refuge in a neutral port. Brodrick, therefore, sat himself 
down to cruise before Cadiz, and his action was quickly 
confirmed from home by orders to blockade. For three 
months he held the station, picking up a number of 
valuable prizes from the West and East Indies, and living 
in constant hope that the French would put to sea. But 
not once did they offer to stir. This state of things con- 
tinued till the first week in December, when a heavy 
south-westerly gale forced the British squadron to take 
refuge in Cadiz Roads in an almost disabled state. The 
Prince (90), Brodrick's flagship, was so much injured that 
he had to shift his flag to the Conqueror (74) and send 
the Prince to Gibraltar, Two others of the line had had 
to cut away their masts, and all the rest were short of 
spars. But General Wall was still supreme at Madrid, 
and the Spanish governor showed himself complacent in 
providing masts and spars and all facilities for a refit. 

Brodrick, left with only three of the line and a fifty fit 
for service, was now inferior to the French, who had three 
sixty-fours and two fifties. De Castillon, their acting 
commodore, saw his chance to escape, and formally 
demanded assurance from the governor that the British 
should not bo allowed to sail for twenty-four hours after 
he left. Thereupon Brodrick, to put a good face on the 
matter, boldly demanded a reciprocal privilege for him- 
self, and eventually it was agreed that each side should 
have the right to put to sea on alternate days. Occa- 
sionally the French showed signs of getting under weigh, 
and it is said the English did their best to assist them by 
passing warps and the like. But nothing came of it, and 
on Christmas Day Brodrick himself got out. Scarcely 

88 THE SECOND PHASE 1 760-1 

was he off the port again when another gale struck him, 
and on December 30 th forced him into Gibraltar in 
almost as bad a state as before. Once more he had to 
devote all his energy to repairing his ships. Then at 
last the French commodore hardened his heart to come 
out, and Brodrick had not been in Gibraltar two days 
before the French stole through the Straits at night 
unseen by the British cruisers. So cleverly had they 
managed that it was not till January 16 th, the day before 
Castillon got safely into Toulon, that Brodrick knew for 
certain they had escaped him. Shortly afterwards he 
received orders to return home with all his ships of the 
line, leaving his senior frigate captain in command of the 
cruisers to perform the ordinary commerce protection 
duties of the station. From all that France had in the 
Mediterranean there was little to fear. Castillon's squadron 
was paid off and dismantled, and in view of the changing 
attitude of Spain it was necessary to use the respite 
gained by Hawke's and Boscawen's victories to overhaul 
the whole fleet as completely as possible in readiness for 
a great effort.-^ 

The squadron of Thurot, well known as he was to the 
Baltic trade as a daring and redoubtable privateersman, 
caused the Government even less anxiety. After eluding 
the blockade of Commodore Boys in the gale off Dunkirk, 
he had been forced by bad weather to run to the coast of 
Sweden, and Boys ever since had been at Leith watching 
for his reappearance. He was heard of at Goteberg, and 
towards the end of the year near Bergen, Boys had 
cruisers out off Peterhead, but in council of war with the 
authorities in Edinburgh it was decided that it was best 
for him to remain on the Scottish coast cruising between 
Buchanness and St. Abb's Head till Thurot's where- 

^ For Brodrick's Despatches see In-letters, 384. 


abouts was definitely known. He had indeed already 
left Bergen, and the first day of the new year he was 
forced to anchor at the Faroes. There he remained 
unreported for a month. It was not till the end of 
February that news came of how three vessels had 
appeared at Islay, off the Argyle coast, and were 
plundering the island for fresh meat. Still Boys did 
not move. It was known that Thurot had sailed from 
Dunkirk with five frigates of from forty-four to eighteen 
guns, and a sloop. The general impression at Edinburgh 
was that the strangers must be part of La Clue's squadron, 
and that if Boys went to the West Coast Thurot might 
appear on the East at any moment. 

But it was indeed Thurot, with all that the winter 
weather had left of his squadron. Sailing from Islay so 
soon as his wants were satisfied, on February 21st he 
appeared in Belfast Lough, and landed about a thousand 
men at Carrickfergus. Thurot had wished to attack 
Belfast itself, but Flobert, the military officer in command 
of the troops, refused. Indeed relations between the 
two services were by this time strained to a point that 
made substantial success impossible. The little town, 
which was without walls, and whose castle was in ruins, 
resisted two half-hearted attacks ; but the small detach- 
ment that garrisoned the place then found its ammunition 
was exhausted, and unfortunately decided to surrender, a 
course for which there was no need. Flobert had been 
seriously wounded, and the flag of truce found the French 
cowering behind walls with apparently no idea of renew- 
ing the attack. They naturally jumped at the capitula- 
tion, and so the sorry affair ignominiously ended. Thurot 
then sent a flag of truce to Belfast to demand victuals, 
and General Strode, who was in command, and the 
gentlemen of the place were weak-kneed enough to 


comply.-' Upon this Thurot disappeared, but into seas 
wliicli were soon so thickly swarming with cruisers as to 
leave him scarcely a chance of escape. 

The news reached the Admiralty on the 26th, five days 
after the landing and the day after the re-embarkation. 
Boscawen was then at Plymouth about to take Hawke's 
place on the French coast, and orders to meet the situa- 
tion were sent him the same night. They are of con- 
siderable interest as showing how speedily the organisation 
of the time could deal with a raid. One ship of the line 
and two frigates were to cruise off Cape Clear in such a 
way as to intercept Thurot if he came down St. George's 
Channel. A similar squadron was to cruise west of Cape 
Clear to catch him if he came down the West Coast of 
Ireland, while a third was to proceed off Brest to be 
ready for him if he escaped the other two. Yet a fourth 
squadron, after picking up the Milford guardship, was 
to proceed direct to Carrickfergus. By the evening of 
the 29th all these ships were away: yet all were fore- 

While Thurot and his troops were still at work there 
was lying in Kinsale Captain Elliot of the yEolus (32), who 
had been forced in there from Hawke's fleet to revictual. 
There were also in the harbour two 30 -gun frigates, the 
Pallas and Brilliant, which were then on a cruise in the 
Soundings on commerce protection duty. In Cork was 
Captain Scott, whose station for similar duty extended 
to sixty leagues west of Cape Clear. Both these officers 
received the news on the 24th, that is, the day before 
the French re-embarked. Scott immediately ordered the 

1 Provost of Glasgow to the Admiralty, Feb. 21 and 2G ; Duke of Bed- 
ford's Despatch with Strode's Report, Feb. 23. Copies of all these are 
collected in Newcastle Papers, 32,902. 

'■^ In-letters, 5'20 (Boys) ; Out-letters, 84, Feb. 20-27 ; In-letters, 90 
(Boscawen), Feb. 28-9. 


Kinsale frigates to join him. His order was never 
delivered. Elliot was already away, waiting for no man. 
On the 26th, as the news reached the Admiralty, he was 
reporting himself off Dublin. Without pausing, he held 
on straight for Belfast Lough, being informed Thurot Avas 
still there. Arrived off the Lous^h, he tried in vain to beat 
in. A contrary and violent wind kept him out. But it was 
all to the good. At daybreak on the 29th he had sighted 
the enemy under sail and gave chase. Thurot had then 
the Marechal de Belleislc (44), the Blo7ide (36), and the 
Terpsichore (24). Elliot's force was practically equal. 
Coming up with him off the Isle of Man, he closed at 
once, and in an hour and a half Thurot was dead, and 
all three ships had struck.^ 

So in a smart display of cruiser control ended the 
dregs of Belleisle's great attempt at a counter-stroke, 
showing how little such a raid could do even in days of 
slow communication on a coast wholly unprepared, whore 
officers behaved badly and citizens without spirit. The 
opinion of the French military officers on the whole con- 
ception was expressed in stinging terms. " A madman," 
wrote one of Thurot, " puffed up with the favour and 
confidence of a Minister whom he has abused with 
chimerical projects. . . . Happy is he to have found a 
glorious death in action, when he ought to have found it 
on the gallows." " 

By the second week in March all the ships that had 
joined the hunt were on their stations again, and 
Boscawen sailed to take up the Great Blockade. Holmes 
was given the Jamaica station, which he had so earnestly 

^ For copies of Elliot's Despatches see Newcastle Papers, 32,902, Feb. 24, 
2G, and 29, and Beatson, vol. ii. p. 413. The Blonde and 7'erpsichorc were 
taken into the navy under the same names. 

* Lacour-Gayet, p. 350 n. , 


desired. To Saunders fell the Mediterranean. The recall 
of Brodrick and his ships of the line did not mean the 
suppression of the squadron for long. The persistence 
of Spain in her equivocal attitude rendered a strong 
display of force within the Straits as necessary as ever, 
and in May Saunders sailed with thirteen of the line and 
a number of frigates, which brought his cruiser squadron 
up to a dozen. While he kept his eye on Toulon he 
devoted a large part of his force to the destruction of 
French Levant trade. " The diligence of Admiral 
Saunders was such," says Beatson, " that from the time 
he made his appearance in these seas the enemy's trade 
was reduced to a state of stagnation," and all the evidence 
available tells us this was no exaggeration. His sagacious 
feeling for a general situation enabled him also to play 
an excellent stroke in support of Lord Kinnoul's mission 
to Portugal. Hearing that a number of influential 
Portuguese had been expelled from the Papal dominions, 
he sent a frigate to Leghorn to carry them to Lisbon. 
The step had an excellent effect, and no doubt contri- 
buted substantially to Kinnoul's success. 

With Saunders thus active in the Mediterranean, the 
Great Blockade extended from Marseilles to Brest, and 
thence it was carried onward by Rodney and Boys as 
far as Dunkirk. It was, of course, not a true commercial 
blockade ; that is, it was not regarded as binding on 
neutrals except for contraband of war. It was aimed at 
preventing any reunion of the fragments into which the 
French navy had been broken, as well as at covering 
the operations in Canada, and paralysing the French sea- 
borne trade. Several home-coming ships of war were 
taken, and many privateers and rich merchantmen, 
while tlie coastwise traffic, according to French local 
accounts, was almost completely stopped. The pressure, 


added to that which Ferdinand was exerting on the 
northern frontier, was very severe. 

Nor did it end here. Up and down the coast threats 
of attack kept the local forces in constant alarm. In 
July Rodney, in pursuit of some flat-boats that were 
being used to transport naval stores to Brest, destroyed 
the forts of Sallenelles and Ouistreham, at the mouth of 
the Orne, and then bombarded Port-en-Bessin, where 
some of the chases tried to take refuge. He also 
destroyed all the fisheries about Dieppe. In August, 
when Hawke relieved Boscawen and a'j^ain took com- 
mand of the blockade, the pressure became still more 
severe. The island of Dumet, off Morbihan, commanded 
the best anchorage in the bay. He resolved therefore 
to seize it, and as soon as he arrived he entrusted its 
capture to Howe. He performed the work as neatly as 
usual. The island proved of great value for fresh vege- 
tables, and so excellent a watering-place, that thence- 
forward water transports could be dispensed with, greatly 
to the ease and economy of the blockade. Having 
secured this advantage, Hawke, full of renewed vigour 
after his rest ashore, forthwith proceeded to work out a 
bold plan for seizing the ships that were still lying 
beyond his reach in Morbihan and the Villaine. His 
idea was to establish himself on the mainland at a 
point from which, with his marines and landing-parties, 
he could operate at little risk against Auray, Vannes, 
and the Villaine. The little peninsula of Rhuys, which 
is cut off from the interior by a narrow pass, called by 
Hawke the " St. Jacques Neck," seemed to offer an ideal 
position. In the admiral's opinion he would be able to 
hold it against anything the enemy could bring to bear 
upon him, and thus secure a perfectly safe base and point 
of retreat. The operation seems to have been designed 


in the soundest style, and to afford an excellent example 
of the kind of territorial pressure which is legitimately 
open to a purely naval force in complete command of 
the sea. Few things in the whole war would be more 
interesting than to know how such an extension of the 
naval arm would have worked; but unfortunately, as 
Hawke's scheme Avas ripening for execution, he received 
a communication from home which brought everything 
to a standstill. 

As though by the working of some inevitable law, the 
strategical necessities of the shore operations against the 
armed forces of the enemy began to assert themselves 
over the secondary operations of the fleet. We have 
seen how rosy was the outlook for Ferdinand's taking 
the offensive when at the end of August Hawke had 
resumed the command in Quiberon Bay. So threatening, 
indeed, was the prospect for France that Marshal Belleisle 
saw that a further effort must be made to save the situa- 
tion. Accordingly he ordered a fresh army to be formed 
upon the Lower Rhine to check Ferdinand's advance by 
operating against his extreme right. As the new move 
became known, Ferdinand redoubled his efforts to get a 
decision in the field. In England from day to day every 
one was hoping to hear a battle had been fought, and 
nobody was so eager as Pitt himself. As the days went by 
and Ferdinand's enemy continued to evade him, he grew 
anxious. Pitt know that a decisive victory and that 
alone would serve his turn, and for that and nothing 
else he had consented to let the " glorious reinforce- 
ment " go. He was specially annoyed by a despatch from 
the commissary of the British troops, in which it was 
said that if Ferdinand could make the French retire it 
would be a great campaign even without a decisive 
battle. " I don't think so," said Pitt to Newcastle in 


discussing the letter. " That won't do our business. I 
declare, for one, that without a battle I will not be for 
the continuance of the measures in Germany another 
year." ^ 

September was passing to its end, and still there was no 
news of the battle. Instead of it came growing expres- 
sions of anxiety about the new French army. The best 
intelligence reported that the bulk of the troops were to 
be drawn from the coasts of Flanders, Picardy, Normandy, 
and even Brittany. It was a clear case for the kind of 
diversion with which Pitt had inaugurated his conduct 
of the war. At the beginning of the difficulties which 
Ferdinand was encountering he had pressed for still 
further reinforcements, and had been refused with some 
asperity. Now therefore came, as before, a cry for 
another diversion by sea. On the last day of September 
Pitt and NcAvcastle talked it over. Pitt suggested as an 
objective Boulogne, which seemed the most obvious way 
to stopping the new French movement, and Newcastle 
was inclined to agree as it had a distinct Continental 
flavour. But, says Newcastle, Pitt also " flung out Belle- 
isle, which he has always harped upon." To Newcastle 
it was anathema. The idea had been suggested to Pitt 
as early as 1756 as a reply to the loss of Minorca. 
In the view of the author of the design the occupation 
of Belleisle would enable us effectually to blockade the 
French coast and force them to keep fifty or sixty thousand 

* Newcastle to Hardwicke, Sept. 13. Hardwicke's answer is interesting 
as showing that he had made a serious study of strategy. He doubted the 
absolute truth of Pitt's strenuous theory of the decisive battle whicli has 
since become current coin. He quoted against it a saying of the great 
Duke of Alva : " It is the business of a general always to get the better of 
his enemy, but not always to fight, and if he can do his business without 
fighting so much the better." This was certainly the accepted theory of 
war at the time, and there were few besides Pitt and Frederick who would 
then have questioned it. See Newcastle Papers, 32,911, Sept. 13 and 14. 


men in the neighbourhood. They would, he said, be even 
more afraid of us than our people had been of them.^ 

It was at any rate too good an idea not to recur now. 
The news that Montreal had fallen was expected any 
day, and the main object of the war was practically 
attained. The secondary phase of general pressure was 
declaring itself more emphatically, and what could be 
better for the work than the capture of Belleisle ? As 
a base for the great blockade, and for such attacks as 
Hawke even then had in his mind, it was ideally placed. 
In Pitt's view the presence of a number of troops in 
so perfect a iilace d'armes would expose all the coast of 
the Bay of Biscay to sudden raids, and force the French 
to detach a considerable section of their forces for its pro- 
tection. As a diversion in Ferdinand's favour it would 
be almost as powerful as an attack on Boulogne. But 
in Pitt's mind there was almost certainly a very different 
motive. The troops that were to form the new army 
on the Rhine were already in motion from all parts of 
France, and Ligonier and most other people were of 
opinion that by no possible means could the expedition 
be organised in time to be of use to Ferdinand. This 
difficulty only inclmed Pitt still more strongly to prefer 
Belleisle as. an objective, for he saw in it a means of 
securing compensation for a failure he could not prevent. 

It happened that the negotiations with Spain had 
once more taken an ugly turn. The ambassador had 
just presented a new claim about the Newfoundland 
fisheries which was regarded as absolutely groundless. 
But this was not the worst. In presenting his note the 

1 " Project by Tlionias Cole for taking Belleisle," Aug. 11, 1756. Who- 
ever Cole was, he seems to have taken himself seriously as a strategist. 
He supports his idea thus : " To carry on war to the greatest advantage 
would be always to invade the invader. Queen Elizabeth did so with 
Philip II., and soon found the good effect of it." 


ambassador stated that it had been communicated to 
France. Pitt had very firmly expressed his surprise at such 
a provocatory proceeding, and demanded an explanation 
of what Spain meant by bringing into the negotiations a 
court at war with England. Fuentes replied with two 
' extraordinary pieces " which reiterated both claims and 
only made things worse. ^ In Pitt's eyes it was a clear 
intimation that Spain intended to make common cause 
with France in order to secure her own Colonial pos- 
sessions, and to save herself from the results of a peace 
which would leave England mistress of North America 
and predominant in the West Indies. 

Here, then, it was that lay the supreme value of Belle- 
isle, which no one but Pitt seems to have thoroughly 
appreciated. Great as was the naval and even the 
military importance of its capture, both were outweighed 
by the diplomatic value. Nothing within the scope of 
our forces could so surely strengthen our hand when it 
came to making peace. Its retention would place us in 
a position to dominate the maritime activity of France 
that was unsurpassed by Minorca itself. It gave us a 
post in the gateway of French Atlantic commerce ; it 
placed us astride of every avenue of their seaborne 
trade. From every point of view it created a situation 
which was unendurable for France, and nothing we 
could demand could well be too high a price to pay 
for its retrocession. It was not unlikely that Spain 
would demand Minorca as a condition of her assistance, 
but so long as we held Belleisle France would not be 
able to grant it. It was an absolute pledge for our 
recovery of the lost island, while as for its special strate- 
gical value, if Spain declared war it gave us a naval base 
interposed between the French and Spanish fleets. 

1 Hardwickc to Pitt, Sept. 29, Chatham Corr., vol. ii. p. 68. 


Such at least was Pitt's view of the strategical 
value of Belleisle. Others thought differently, and, like 
Choiseul himself, regarded, or affected to regard, its 
capture as a pin-prick of no importance. Still, the 
reasoning which weighed with Pitt was undeniably 
strong, and if he was convinced, and in his masterful 
assurance carried away all opposition, it is no wonder. 
The day after his talk with Newcastle he went to the 
King, and the King " was violently for it." From the 
royal closet he Avent to the Admiralty to order ten 
thousand tons more transport to increase the expedition 
that was already on foot. Newcastle thereupon went 
in indignation to the King to protest. He also asked 
Anson to dinner, and Anson, he says, was " extremely 
against it." Ligonier, too, expressed his doubts. The 
question was therefore referred to the Secret Committee. 
But there, to Newcastle's disgust, no one would support 
him. Ligonier, it is true, pronounced the troops could 
not be ready for six weeks, and Pitt wavered a little. 
Anson in his turn declared the weather would be good 
till the middle of November. In the end nothins^ was 
definitely decided except that the expedition designed 
for the Mauritius was to be reinforced, and that it would 
act somewhere on the coast of France instead.^ 

Next day came the news that Montreal had fallen 
and Pitt appears to have made up his mind. The ex- 
peditionary force at Portsmouth was quickly brought up 
to seven battalions of the line. At the same time two 
more regiments were ordered to embark from Ireland, 
while a battalion of the guards, a regiment of dragoons, 
and a great siege-train were set in motion for the 

Every one could see the objective was no longer in the 

^ Newcastle to Hardwicke, Oct. 3, Newcastle Papers, 32.912. 


East Indies. " Where they go, God knows," wrote New- 
castle to Hardwicko, as troops and guns and stores began 
to file down the Portsmouth Road past his house at 
Claremont in endless procession, " I write treason. 
Not a word ! " For him it was all another bit of 
Pitt's mania, and he was almost in despair. For such 
an army to be risked on the sea in a November expedi- 
tion was madness, and Anson himself was ill at ease. 
The only hope of Newcastle and his friends was that 
Pitt could not be really in earnest, and that the whole 
thing was intended to operate as a threat only. 

It was a view for which there was some colour. The 
objective was still not decided officially. It had been agreed 
to refer the matter to the Secret Committee, and Keppel, 
who was to command, Avas called home to attend it. He 
had personally reconnoitred Belleisle during the summer, 
and when he arrived it was clear to the committee that 
he was by no means sure the operation was practicable. 
He was in doubt whether the ships could approach 
within gunshot of the only landing-place, and whether 
the citadel did not command it. Pitt himself was 
shaken, and thought the point serious enough to refer 
to Hawke before anything was finally settled. This step 
was regarded by the doubters as meaning the abandonment 
of the expedition, and Hardwicke predicted that no clear 
opinion would be got from Hawke, " whose character," he 
said, " I take it, is to be diffident and balancing." ^ 

It was the receipt of a despatch from Anson in- 
forming Hawke of the project on foot and the points 
he was to report on that interrupted his arrangements 
for a landing on his own account. Naturally he did not 
receive the idea with any great favour, being wholly 

' Newcastle to Hardwicke. Oct. 11, and Hardwicke to Newcastle, 
Oct. 12, Newcastle I'aperi, 32,913. 


wrapt up in his own promising design, A fresh recon- 
naissance was made, and upon it Hawko made his report. 
He began with a strictly professional protestation of his 
readiness to carry out any enterprise that was com- 
manded, and then, without very definitely answering the 
questions that had been referred to him, he proceeded to 
throw cold water on the whole project. Full weight was 
given to the undoubted difficulties of the enterprise, but, 
worse still, ho criticised Pitt's strategy in terms that came 
near to ridicule. He could not see, he said, how you 
were going to affect the mainland by occupying an island, 
and he then went on to explain his own project and to 
point out how superior it was to Pitt's. He took no pains 
to conceal his disappointment, but said that, as somethhig 
so much more ambitious was on foot, his own scheme 
would be abandoned.^ 

A week later Hawke's answer reached Anson, and he 
carried it straight to the King. In the interval the 
opposition had been growing. Ligonier declared the 
troops would be fit for nothing for three months after 
they returned. Anson could not forget November 
weather in the bay, and Pitt, bending before the storm, 
had declared himself ready to drop the whole thing if 
Hawke reported unfavourably, or if the Council was against 
it. When he know the report had come he hurried to 
the palace. Newcastle describes the scene. Pitt was 
thoroughly out of temper that the report had been taken 
to the King before ho saw it, but Hawke, it will be re- 
membered, was not directly under his orders. Anson 
came out of the closet to say that the King declared the 
thing impracticable, and would not permit his troops to 
go. Pitt was used to overcoming such opposition. He 

1 A copy of the despatch, dated Oct. 17, is in Newcastle Papers, 32,913, 
also in Lord Donoughmoie's Beaufort MSH, {Hist. Com. Rep.), p. 122. 


was the last to go in, and presently came out " very dis- 
turbed." Presumably there had been something like a 
scene. Pitt gave vent to his feelings in the anteroom by 
attacking Hawke " most bitterly," He was " a very good 
sea officer," he said, " but no Minister." Not only had he 
stopped the Belleislc plan, but he had dropped his own, 
and the angry Minister declared he would have no more 
to do with it. He was, in short, furious with Hawke 
and his report. " From this letter," concludes Newcastle, 
" I date poor Sir Edward's fall and Admiral Boscawen's 
rise." ^ Newcastle was probably right. In the defec- 
tive statesmanship which in Pitt's eyes Hawke had ex- 
hibited, and which the great War Minister regarded as so 
essential a qualification for high naval command, we see 
at least one of the reasons that so long denied the ill- 
starred admiral his reward. It was without doubt the 
origin of Pitt's well-known remark to Boscawen. " When," 
he is reported to have said, " I apply to other officers 
respecting any expedition I may chance to project, they 
always make difficulties : you find expedients." 

But the episode was to have a catastrophe far more 
forcible than the marring of Hawke's career. The tension 
and heart-burning it caused culminated in a tragedy that 
distorted, no one can tell how profoundly, the whole 
course and result of the Avorld-wide struggle. For early 
next morning, a few minutes after the harassed old King 
had risen, his valet found him dead. 

The tragic end of a reign that was culminating so 
gloriously was wholly unexpected. No one was pre- 
pared. Nothing had been decided, and while every 
one was forced to be securing his position under the 
new sovereign nothing could be done. The expedi- 
tion remained in suspense, while Ministers schemed and 

* Newcastle to Ilanlwicke, Oct, 25, ibiiL 


intrigued. Still it was not abandoned. The Irish regi- 
ments were already marching, and advices kept coming in 
of the disturbance the armament was causing in French 
counsels. Ferdinand himself sent in a report, for the 
truth of which he could not vouch, that it had stopped 
the troops ordered against him from Flanders. The 
regular intelligence agents sent in information to the 
same effect, and Hawke obtained from a Dutch skipper 
an assurance that the marching orders of the troops in 
Southern Brittany had been countermanded.^ 

It is possible these reports had their effect. Within a 
fortnight of the young King's accession Pitt had estab- 
lished his ascendency ; he was on the best terms Avith 
the new favourite, Lord Bute ; and Newcastle's party, 
which included Anson, Hardwicke, and Mansfield, were 
in the shade. In the second week of November the 
Cabinet met to decide the fate of the Belleisle enter- 
prise, and Pitt was able to obtain a resolution that it 
should proceed. Nor was this all. On November 14th 
Anson sent Hawke full details of the expedition that was 
coming, and orders to despatch a frigate for the Irish 
units, but that was the last he had to do with it. For 
Pitt, according to his usual practice where combined 
operations were concerned, obtained from the King an 
order that Hawke was to take his instructions from him, 
and not from the Admiralty. 

On the 17th he sent off his secret orders. Practically 
they relegated Hawke to the position he had so deeply 
resented in 1757. He was simply told he was to afford 
every assistance to Keppel and Kingsley, and cover their 
operations Avith his fleet.^ That Hawke would have done 

^ Ferdinand to Holdcrncss, Oct. 10; Advices from Versailles, Oct. 31, 
ibid. ; Hawke to Admiralty, In-letters, Nov. (5. 

2 Burrow's Life of Ilaioke, p. 433 ; Hawke to Admiralty, Nov. 2G, In- 
letters, 92 ; Newcastle to Hardwicke, Nov. 7, Newcastle Pai^rs, 32,914. 


his duty in a situation that can hardly have been easy 
for him no one will doubt, but he was destined not to 
be put to the proof. In less than a week after Pitt had 
given the secret orders he was convinced that it was 
too late for the expedition to proceed, and on Novem- 
ber 22 nd he told Hawke he was to send back the Irish 
regiments, and that the expedition had been postponed.^ 

For some time longrer it continued in France to cause 
anxiety for Rochefort, L'Orient, and Belleisle, and every- 
where to exercise the ingenuity of the embassies. One 
was certain that it was going to combine with Amherst 
against Martinique. Another guessed Belleisle or the 
French coast. The Spaniards were sure it had been 
intended for Ostend if Ferdinand could have held his 
ground, and were equally certain it was now going to 
Minorca. " Every one," it was said at the Hague, " is 
impatiently watching for news of the great expedition." ^ 
Keppel himself was kept in ignorance of its postpone- 
ment up to the last moment. On November 28th he 
informed Pitt the expedition was ready to sail, and the 
Admiralty that he meant to take the first fair wind. A 
few days later he dropped down to St. Helens to await 
his final orders. The movement caused a fresh out- 
break of alarm along the French coast. As late as the 
middle of December they were trying desperately to pass 
troops across to Belleisle in the face of Hawke's light 
cruisers ; the colonels of all the coast regiments were 
ordered to remain with their colours ; troops were passed 
from Normandy to Brittany; Brest and Bordeaux were 
in a feverish state of alarm. Till the last possible 
moment Pitt kept up the threat that could no longer 
be executed, and it was not till December 11th that 

> Hawke to Admiralty, Dec. 30, In-lMers, 92. 

' See 8. P. Porevjn {Intercepted Letters)^ Nov.-Dec, vol. 80. 


Keppel was informed that he was not to proceed to sea 
till further orders, and that he was to disembark the 
troops at once.^ 

Nothing could illustrate better the importance which 
Pitt attached to the peculiar deterrent effect of troops 
upon the sea. Far away in India, as we shall see, it 
had been felt as keenly as in Europe. There it pro- 
duced a marked and lasting effect, but at home it was 
all too late to save the situation in Westphalia. The 
decisive battle never came. The new army of the Lower 
Rhine was formed, and though not as strong as had 
been intended OAving to the threat of Keppel's expedi- 
tion, it sufficed to drive in Ferdinand's right under the 
young Hereditary Prince of Brunswick. The consequence 
was that Ferdinand Avas forced to retire and finally to 
take up winter quarters, which abandoned Hesse to the 
French, and left in their hands all the chief passes into 
Hanover. True, Frederick had balanced the situation 
somewhat by his costly victory at Torgau, which gave 
him back the greater part of Saxony : but on the side 
of Hanover the outlook for the next campaign was very 
dark. " For God's sake," wrote Newcastle to Yorke in 
the depths of his depression at the coldness of the new 
court, " don't name the expedition any more. I don't 
believe it ever frightened or alarmed France. I thank 
God it is now unanimously stopped." 

^ Paris Advices, Dec. 12, French Intelligence, Dec. 17, Newcastle Papers, 
32,916; Pitt to Commodore Keppel, Dec. 11, Keppel, /Afe of Viscount 
Keppel, vol. i. p. 295; Hawke to Admiralty, Dec. 15, In-lettcrs, 92 ; Keppel 
to same, Nov. 28 and Dec. li, ibid., 91. 



If the operations in Europe had failed to achieve all the 
secondary effects that had been hoped, in their main 
function they had been an entire success. Behind them 
the conquest of Canada had been proceeding smoothly 
and without interruption. It might even be dismissed 
as little more than a military promenade, but though no 
feat of arms like that of Wolfe at Quebec distinguished 
it, it is still noteworthy as a piece of well-adjusted organ- 
isation, and as an example of the overwhelming force of 
a concentrated attack scientifically conceived, resolutely 
maintained, and adequately covered. 

Amherst, in spite of his failure to penetrate to the 
St. Lawrence in the previous campaign, had far too great 
a power of administration, and too fine a talent for work- 
ing with the Colonial authorities and troops not to be 
continued in command. His general orders for the con- 
duct of the campaign were sent him by Pitt on January 
7th. They gave him practically a free hand. He was 
instructed to push operations for the invasion of Canada 
with the utmost vigour. His objective was to be 
Montreal, but it was loft to him to proceed by one or 
more lines of operation as he deemed best. He was also 
instructed to have a constant and particular care for 
Quebec, to inform General Murray, the officer in com- 
mand, of the operations decided on, and to give him such 
directions as he thought expedient. Further, he was 


directed to undertake from Pennsylvania, in the southern 
area of his command, such operations as he thought 
necessary for removing all future dangers.^ 

Upon these instructions he proceeded to work out one 
of the finest combinations ever carried through by British 
forces. As before, the plan was based upon a convergence 
of three lines of operations, but with this important modi- 
fication of the last year's design. His own main attack 
was no longer to be by Lakes George and Champlain, but 
by the westerly route which Prideaux and Johnson had 
opened for him by the capture of Niagara. Upon the 
old line he would merely employ a minor covering force 
under Colonel Haviland, one of his most trusty lieu- 
tenants, which would confuse the enemy, hold them to 
Montreal, and prevent a counterstroke upon his base at 
Albany. The advance on both lines was to be simulta- 
neous, and to complete and emphasise the design a third 
advance in time with the other two was to be made by 
the Quebec garrison under Murray. The strategy was 
excellent, and obviously directed at dealing a decisive 
blow from which there could be no escape. For some 
time past Vaudreuil, in his more heroic moments, had 
been informing the French court that his intention was 
never to give up the struggle, but as a last resource to 
retire into the interior, either towards the Great Lakes 
or the Mississippi, so that when it came to negotiations 
for peace the King of France could maintain that he still 
had a footing in Canada. How far this was known to 
Amherst is uncertain. But it will be observed how nicely 
his change of plan was calculated to foil such a game, for 
by his very first move he would seize the proposed line of 
retreat, and advance along it to deliver his attack. When 
we consider how often so-called British victories, and not 

^ Pitt to Amherst, Jan. 7, printed bj' Tliackeray, vol. i. p. 465. 


only our own, have in similar theatres of war merely re- 
sulted in driving the enemy further and further into the 
wilds, and only making a decision more and more difficult 
to obtain, there seems much to justify the high place 
which has been claimed for Amherst as a general. 

His line was not chosen because it was the easiest. 
It involved enormous difficulties, and amongst them the 
descent of the famous St. Lawrence Rapids. To pass a 
force of over ten thousand men, for that was the number 
of his active column, with its stores, baggage, and artillery 
through such a series of obstacles in the face of an active 
and desperate enemy, was an enterprise at that time pro- 
bably without precedent. This is a consideration that 
should never be forgotten. Only the strongest military 
character could have faced the risk. Yet for the sake of 
a decision, Amherst faced it without flinchinsf. Nor was 
this all. His plan also demanded the naval command of 
Lake Ontario, and his first care was to secure it. At 
Niagara he ordered two fine sloops to be built. At 
Oswego, which was to be his final point of departure, he 
established a royal dockyard, and commenced the con- 
struction of half-a-dozen row-galleys, besides collecting 
the great flotilla, amounting to some eight hundred boats 
and canoes, which his force would require. 

While this inland fleet was being prepared in the Far 
West, upon the Atlantic there was equal activity. The 
naval force which was to assist Amherst upon the ocean 
and cover his wide operations, was in three divisions. 
There was firstly a squadron of five of the line and four 
frigates, based at Halifax, under Commodore Lord Colville, 
which on Pitt's orders Saunders had left behind him 
to winter on the station in the usual way. A similar 
squadron under Commodore Swanton sailed from England 
in the early spring direct for Quebec with a convoy of 


storesliips for the garrison. And about the same time 
a third squadron of three of the line and two frigates 
under Captain the Hon John Byron proceeded to Louis- 
bourg with engineers and miners to destroy the fortifica- 
tions. For " after serious and mature deliberations " it 
had been decided that it was inexpedient to maintain the 
place as a fortress.^ 

Such a concentration of force, consisting as it did of 
thirteen of the line, was more than enough to secure all 
that was wanted. Indeed, in the strain of the continental 
struggle, every one at home had dismissed Canada from 
his mind, when early in June, just as all hope of peace 
was at an end and Ferdinand was opening his offensive 
campaign, came the news that Wolfe's conquest was in 
the sorest danger of being lost. At the moment it was a 
severe shock. " Who the deuce," wrote Walpole, " was 
thinking of Quebec ? America was like a book one has 
read and done with, but here we are on a sudden reading 
our book backwards." 

It will be remembered that at the close of the last 
campaign General Murray had been left with some seven 
thousand men, more or less fit for service, to establish 
himself amongst the ruins of Quebec. With so large 
and well seasoned a force, with a long winter in which to 
recover its strength, and abundantly supplied as it was 
with guns and ammunition, no anxiety for his safety was 
felt. No one had rightly calculated the effects of a 
Canadian winter under such conditions. The last frigates 
fired their parting salute ; the ice closed in behind them ; 
and the terrors of that frost-bound prison began quickly 
to declare themselves. To begin with it was found 
impossible to throw up the outworks which the state 
of the fortress imperatively demanded. The garri- 

1 Pitt to Amherst, Feb. 9, 17G0, Thackeray, vol. ii. p. 472. 


son, moreover, could not be housed properly or even 
clothed ; fresh provisions were unobtainable, and scurvy 
added its terrors to the rigour of the merciless cold. 
Instead of recovering the men began to drop in scores, 
and it was only continual successes against hovering 
parties of the enemy that kept the garrison from despair. 
Everything that passed within the crazy walls was 
known at the French headquarters. There Vaudreuil 
was still governor, and De L^vis commander-in-chief, Avith 
Bourlamaque and Bougainville for his chief lieutenants. 
They knew well enough what to expect in the coming 
campaign, and saw their only chance was to crush Murray 
before a new combined attack could develop. This at 
least they judged was the best chance of being able to 
keep a footing in Canada till the peace, which they like 
every one else were expecting, brought the war to an end. 
Fired with this idea, De Levis took the extreme step of 
mobilising his forces in the depth of winter, determined 
to stake all on a desperate attempt to take Quebec by 
escalade. Everything Avas prepared. But the difficulties 
proved too great. The militia was dismissed, and the 
regulars returned to Montreal to resume their winter 
quarters, with outposts at Jacques Cartier, Deschambault, 
and Pointe-aux-Trembles. They could well afford to 
wait. Their daily reports from Quebec told them how 
the winter and the scurvy were doing their work. By 
March, Murray had not five thousand men fit for duty, 
and the sickness was increasing. Till April it was left 
to shatter the garrison still further, and by the end of 
the month the French began to move. By this time 
Murray's effective strength was barely three thousand, 
and he recognised how desperate was his situation. On 
April 21 he took the ruthless step of expelling the whole 
of the French citizens, and two days later, the river 


being now partly open, he sent off one of the sloops that 
had been left with him to Halifax to hasten Colville to 
his rescue. 

Meanwhile the Chevalier de Levis was falling down the 
river with the four cruisers Holmes had been unable to 
destroy, a whole flotilla of armed vessels and smaller 
craft, and over seven thousand men, besides Indians. 
On the evening of the 27 th he began to appear on the 
heights about Sillery and St. Foy. The situation was 
now desperate. With the enemy once established on 
the heights of Abraham, Quebec was untenable. It had 
been Murray's intention to occupy them himself. All 
the material was ready for constructing an entrenched 
camp, but the soil was still iron-bound with the frost 
and field works were out of the question. Murray saw no 
way out of the difficulty but a bold attack. It was a 
remedy as desperate as his condition ; but, full of con- 
fidence in the superiority of his troops, he decided to 
fling his whole force upon the French advanced guard 
before their movement was complete. After leaving the 
necessary guards in the town, he had barely two thousand 
men available : yet he thought he saw his only chance, 
and without hesitation delivered a furious onslaught. At 
first success seemed to justify the boldness of his counter- 
stroke, but overwhelming masses began gradually to pour 
round both his flanks, his advance had entangled him 
and his guns in a morass of melting snow, and in two 
hours he was forced to beat a retreat with the loss of 
about a thousand men. The blow meant the annihila- 
tion of a third of his potent force, including most 
of his best men, and for three days the garrison was 
reduced to such a state of demoralisation that an 
immediate assault could hardly have failed to carry the 
ruined city. But De Levis had suffered almost as heavily, 


and had to content himself with securing his position on 
the heights of Abraham. 

Murray seized the respite to send another sloop away 
to communicate his situation to Amherst. He told him 
he had still hopes of being able to hold out till the fleet 
arrived to relieve him, and that in the last extremity 
he should retire to Wolfe's first position on the island of 
Orleans and there await reinforcements. His despatch 
was opened by Colonel Lawrence at Halifax, and the 
news sent direct home with the startling effect we have 
seen. Amherst did not receive it till the middle of May. 
He immediately ordered transports to be requisitioned 
at Boston to carry the Louisbourg garrison to Murray's 
relief, and supplied their places with labourers for the 
work of demolition.^ 

Meanwhile De Levis had sat himself down to a formal 
siege. It was no part of his plan to risk further loss in 
an assault. There was still plenty of time to take the 
place by regular approach if only the stores he was 
expecting from France could reach him. If they did 
not, then everything was lost, and the r^^capture of 
Quebec was useless. He knew a convoy was coming out 
with the idea of forestalling the British blockade, as had 
been done the year before. Its safe arrival would ensure 
a bloodless success. If, on the other hand, it failed to 
arrive, there was no hope but to fall back into the 
interior and concentrate the whole of the Canadian forces 
at Montreal. So while his army tried to entrench itself 
and commence its approaches in the frozen ground, his 
ships were brought down to the Anse de Foulon, and 
his guns and stores hauled up the clifi' by the way the 
British had made. The process was slow, for Murray had 

1 Amherst to Pitt, May 19; Murray to Amherst, April '{O ; Pitt to 
Lawrence and to Amherst, June 20.— Thackeray, vol. i. p. 472, ct seq. 


quickly restored the spirit of his stricken force. All was 
activity once more, and the French siege works were soon 
being galled by a fire of a hundred and fifty guns. Still 
the weakness of the defences, which there was no means 
to strengthen, made the case scarcely less desperate, 
and every eye was turned down the river. At last, on 
May 9, a frigate was seen standing up the Orleans 
channel. For a while there was breathless suspense in 
both armies. Was she French or was she English ? 
Every hand and gun was still, watching for what was 
to come. It was not till she was well in the Basin that 
the British flag fluttered out to decide the question. A 
roar of triumph went up from the shattered ramparts ; 
for every one knew the fate of Canada was decided too. 

It was Captain Deane in the Lowestoft, He had 
separated in a fog from Swanton's squadron, but he 
could promise Murray his chief was close behind. In 
less than a week Swanton himself appeared in the 
Vanguard (74) with another frigate. On the morrow, 
amidst a scene of the wildest excitement, he dashed at 
the French squadron and drove it with heavy loss from 
its moorings. Ordering his frigates to chase and com- 
plete the destruction, which they did in thorough style, 
he himself took up a position to enfilade the besieger's 
trenches. It was more than the French could endure. 
The game was lost ; De Levis's well-played stroke had 
failed ; and that night, without striking his camp, he stole 
away, leaving all his siege-guns behind him,. Then, day 
after day, the relief-transports kept crowding into the Basin. 
On the 18th, Colville and his squadron came in, and 
then the happy news was hurried home. In London, the 
drama of Wolfe's year was repeated. For only ten days 
after the first alarming report had reached the govern- 
ment, Murray's despatches came to hand, and all was 


once more bonfires and festivity. " Join, my love, with 
me," wrote Pitt to his adored wife, " in most humble and 
grateful thanks to the Almighty. The siege of Quebec 
was decided on May 1 7, with every happy circumstance. 
The enemy left their camp standing, abandoned forty 
pieces of cannon, &c. Swanton . . . destroyed all the 
French shipping, six or seven in number. Happy, happy 
day ! My joy and hurry are inexpressible.^ 

Pitt had cause enough to feel the relief with elation. 
The danger had been real and pressing. For, as we have 
seen, a convoy with stores and drafts for Canada had left 
Bordeaux early in April, and in spite of the vigilance of 
Boscawen, who was then commanding on the station, 
had cleared the blockade with the loss of only three 
sail. On May 14th they reached the inouth of the St. 
Lawrence, but only to find that a British squadron had 
just got in six days before them.^ To enter the river 
was now impossible. They therefore ran into La Chaleur 
Bay, the deep inlet just south of the St, LaAvrence estuary. 
Their hope was to be able to communicate with Vaudreuil 
over land, but their presence was soon known. Captain 
Byron, who by this time was at Louisburg assisting in the 
demolition, heard of it, and immediately left the Avork of 
destruction in search of them. At the same time Colville 
at Quebec sent down a detachment on the same quest. 
The two squadrons met in the bay, and in a few hours 
all the French stores of value were on board the British 
ships, and a score of transports and the frigate that 
escorted them were in flames. 

The same day, July 9th, that the efforts of this devoted 
convoy were brought to so disastrous an end, Amherst 

1 Pitt to Lady Hester Pitt, Chatham Corr., vol. ii. p. 45. 

2 See a captured Journal of the Voyage? in Newcastle Papers, 32,911, 
f. 379. 



reached Oswego. On June 21st, after seeing Colonel Havi- 
land off with the centre column of some 3500 men upon 
the old line of attack northward, he had left Albany, and 
his army was streaming over the Great Portage down 
to the shores of Ontario. The same week he reached 
Oswego, Murray started up the river from Quebec with a 
force of 2500 men, which he had been able to form from 
the ruins of his garrison. His flotilla and its escort- 
ing frigates, sloops, and floating batteries, were under a 
Captain Deane. The only serious obstacle in his path 
was the Richelieu rapids, which it will be remembered 
had been the limit of Holmes's operations in the previous 
campaign. They could only be passed at flood -tide and 
with a fair wind ; the channel was intricate and defended 
by batteries, while a little below them was a regularly 
entrenched position on the heights of Jacques Cartier. 
This was the main outpost of the French, and presumably 
it was hoped that its reduction would delay the British 
advance. But Murray had learnt from the last campaign 
the secret of such riverine warfare, and finding a channel 
under the south, bank out of range of the French works, 
he coolly passed them by and anchored immediately 
below the rapids. Owing to persistent contrary winds 
the passage of them proved a lengthy affair. Under 
cover of the fire of the floating batteries and of perpetual 
diversions and raids ashore the force was gradually passed 
up in fragments, but it was not till July 26th, ten days 
after the operation commenced, that the obstacle was 

Ahead of him at Trois Rivieres, where the St. Lawrence 
leaves the St. Pierre Lake, lay another entrenched posi- 
tion, but Murray would not be stopped. It was treated 
with the same contempt as Jacques Cartier. The troops 
were passed by under the south bank, where the French 


guns could not reach them, while the Canadians on that 
side were kept in check by landing parties. So Murray 
advanced, and as all obstacles seemed to melt before him, 
parish after parish submitted. By August 9 th he had 
entered the St. Pierre Lake. At Sorel at the lake-head 
was the main position of the French, for here fell in the 
Richelieu River from Lake Cham plain, the line of Havi- 
land's advance, and it was at this point Bourlamaque was 
concentrating his force. On August 12th Murray was 
joined by Lord Rollo with the Louisbourg battalions, and 
was thus ready to push home his attack well up to time. 
Two days earlier Amherst, without waiting for the 
completion of all his galleys, had left Oswego with his 
vast flotilla punctually to the day, and at the same 
moment Haviland began his voyage up Lake Champlain 
from his advanced post at Crown Point. Nothing could 
have been prettier. Murray was, of course, somewhat 
ahead of the other two columns, but the eflfect w^as 
excellent. It forced Bougainville to fall back before 
Haviland from post to post, for although his forces 
numbered about 2000 men, he dared not risk any serious 
resistance for fear of being cut off from the final concen- 
tration at Montreal. At the same time it held Bourla- 
maque at Sorcl and prevented De Levis drawiiig on that 
division to reinforce the positions above the city, which 
were to bar the advance of Amherst. The most advanced 
of these posts was a little below La Galette, the present 
Ogdensburg, where on Isle Royale a strong fort had 
recently been erected and named Levis, after the com- 
mander-in-chief. Had Murray been in command he 
perhaps would have passed it by, but Amherst was too 
correct a soldier to permit himself such an irregularity. 
Nor must it be forgotten that when Murray passed Trois 
Rivieres the dangers of the river were behind him. For 


Amherst they were immediately ahead, and it was more- 
over only by capturing Fort L^vis he could hope to secure 
pilots for the rapids. Although, therefore, he did not 
reach the place till August 19th, ten days after Murray 
was safe in Lake St. Pierre, he decided to invest it, and 
so gallantly was it defended that it was a week before it 
was in his hands, and not till August 31st was he able 
to resume his advance. 

It was upon such a delay that De L6vis had counted to 
enable him to crush Murray or Haviland in detail. But 
apparently Amherst had counted on it too, and the 
rhythm of his fine combination was in no way interrupted. 
Neither Murray nor Haviland were to be drawn. Murray, 
after landing his force at Sorel and trying to tempt 
Bourlamaque out of his entrenchments, re-embarked, and 
slowly pursuing his way up stream as the wind permitted- 
he forced Bourlamaque to follow him in fear of his join- 
ing hands with Haviland. The moral effect at least was 
excellent. Regulars began to desert by scores, and the 
militia by hundreds. By the end of the month trust- 
worthy intelligence came down that Amherst had taken 
Fort Levis ; whereupon Murray seized Isle Therese, just 
below the great island on which Montreal is built, and 
there stood fast. Haviland was equally cautious. Bougain- 
ville had fallen right back from the hills into the St. 
Lawrence valley, and was now in junction with Bourla- 
maque. Instead, therefore, of advancing direct upon 
Montreal, as ho might have done, Haviland moved farther 
down the Richelieu River to his right and seized Fort 
Chambly, the last French post that lay between him and 
Murray's column. Thence he proceeded to feel for his 
colleague away to his right, and on September 3rd he 
succeeded in getting into communication. Murray now 
lost no time in acting. Two days later, finding Bourla- 


maque and Bougainville were again falling back, he crossed 
from his island camp to the south bank with his grena- 
diers, light troops, and rangers, and on the 6tli joined 
hands with Haviland at Longeuil, the point where the 
road from Chambly reaches the St. Lawrence, opposite 
the island of Montreal. 

On the very same day Amherst began to land at its 
upper end. In five days he had overcome the terrors of 
those famous rapids with the loss of some fifty boats and 
less than a hundred men. It was a feat of Avhich he 
might well be proud. True he had not been opposed. 
The Canadians who, under a tried partisan leader, had 
been told off to harass the passage, for some reason did 
next to nothing. Probably they knew the game was up, 
as indeed it was. Halting but a day at the foot of the 
rapids to repair his shattered boats, Amherst had pushed 
forward immediately with the utmost vigour. The same 
day he landed on Montreal island saw him encamped 
before the walls of the city. Murray as promptly hurried 
back to Isle Therese, landed his column on the lower 
end of the great island, and next morning encamped just 
below the city. 

So, like the striking of a clock, Amherst's wide-flung 
movements chimed together at the appointed hour. When 
we think of the distance the columns had had to travel, 
the wildness of the solitudes they had to pass, the obstacles 
to be overcome, and the difficulty of communicating one 
with the other ; if we add the diversity of the troops with 
which Amherst had to deal, and the skill of the com- 
manders he had to oppose — we seem to have before us one 
of the most perfect and astonishing bits of work which 
the annals of British warfare can show. In the long 
struggle we had blundered enough — blundered in every 
conceivable way — in strategy and tactics, in training and 


organisation; but the national adaptability had told at 
last. The lesson had been learnt to perfection, and so 
in the end Canada was cleanly cut from France by a 
masterstroke of the art of war. 

For won it was. The noose had been thrown too 
dexterously to admit of resistance, and drawn too tightly 
for surrender to mean dishonour. Levis and the veteran 
battalions of France clamoured indeed to fight it out, but 
Vaudreuil would not permit the sacrifice, and harsh as 
were the terms on which Amherst insisted as his right, 
on September 8 th all Canada was signed away to the 
British Crown. 



America was now indeed " like a book that is read and 
done with." Our object in the war was attained, and 
the transition from the primary to the secondary stage 
was complete. France, as we have seen, was still refusing 
to acknowledge her defeat. She was pushing on more 
vigorously than ever against Hanover in order to counter 
our success, and it remained for us to force the energy of 
our general pressure upon her in order to compel her to 
accept the situation before she could achieve a counter- 
vailing advantage. 

The passing effort to clinch the pressure continentally 
by bringing up Ferdinand's force to offensive strength had 
failed. The attempt was false to Pitt's system, and but 
for the political and diplomatic exigencies of the case he 
probably would never have sanctioned it. The true sphere 
for such supplementary operations, as he knew well, was 
where our fleet could add its overwhelming impulse to our 
slender military force — on the coast of France and in the 
East and West Indies. 

In the latter theatres the effect of the changed condi- 
tions of the war, which had been inaugurated with the 
fall of Quebec, are highly interesting. In both areas the 
operations were originally based on the idea of commerce 
protection. In the West Indies we have already seen 
how, as the transition began to make itself felt, this idea 


of commerce protection began to be transformed into 
an extension of the general oftensive, with a view partly 
of acquiring guarantees against possible successes of the 
enemy in Europe, and partly of coercing her into peace. 
In the East Indies the influence of a similar transforma- 
tion is now to be observed. 

It will be remembered that in the autunm of 1758 
D'Ache, the French naval commander, had insisted on 
returning to Mauritius in the usual way. In spite of 
General Lally's protests, who, eager to carry out his 
orders for seizing the coast factories of the British Com- 
pany, and fired by his success at St. David's, was burning 
to lay siege to Madras, D'Ache absolutely refused to risk 
another action with Pocock. The British admiral, on his 
part, after vainly trying to intercept the French squadron 
on the way to its base, had also returned to refit at 
Bombay on the approach of the monsoon. This was 
Lally's opportunity. So soon as he knew Pocock was 
really gone, he moved against Madras, and on December 
12 th sat down before the place in form. The force his 
energy had collected was formidable, but the resistance 
offered by Governor Pigot and his officers was no less. 
For nine weeks the struggle went on without Lally's being 
able to make any serious impression. Still the situation 
was very critical ; it could not last. It began indeed to 
look as though Madras must share the fate of St. David's, 
when, on February 16 th, long before Pocock's return 
could be looked for, Kempenfelt, who -was flag-captam to 
Steevens, the second in command, appeared with a couple 
of frigates and half-a-dozen transports carrying troops and 
stores. Pocock, unable to move himself without ruining 
his fleet and risking the whole situation for the coming 
season, had hurried him off from Bombay at the earliest 
possible moment. And he was in time. As Kempenfelt 


anchored in the road, Lally knew that his chance was 
gone, and in deepest exasperation he broke up the siege 
and withdrew to Pondicherry. 

Meanwhile Clivc had so firmly established himself 
in Bengal that he felt strong enough to send down 
an expedition under Colonel Forde into the Northern 
Sirkars, the district lying half way between Calcutta 
and Madras, which Lally had succeeded in bringing 
entirely under French domination. Clive had just sent 
home his secretary to persuade Pitt to extend his offensive 
to India. He urged how easy was the conquest of Bengal, 
and that it was in the East rather than the West that 
England should look for her Imperial destiny. It was 
full of this faith that he had sent Forde down to the 
Northern Sirkars, and fully did the expedition justify 
his conviction. Forde achieved a signal success. On 
April 8th Masulipatam, the chief town and port of the 
district, fell into his hands, and Lally found his province 
confined to Pondicherry and its immediate neighbourhood. 
It was plain throughout India that the tide was turning 
against France, and Lally felt his retention even of Pondi- 
cherry depended on D'Ache and his fleet. 

It was an asset on which he could count with some 
confidence, for it had been considerably increased. At 
Mauritius D'Ache had found Captain Froger de I'lilguille 
with three of the line and several of the Company's ships. 
They brought his fleet up to eleven of the line, but it 
was a force greater than the resources of the island could 
bear. He had to send a dozen ships away to the Cape 
to get supplies from the Dutch. It was not till July 1 7 th 
that he was able to put to sea, and then he had to go to 
Madagascar for rice. In India no one could tell why he 
lingered. Pocock, determined to be beforehand, had left 
Bombay with seven of the line the day after Masulipatam 



had fallen, and had established himself off Ceylon before 
D' Ache's ships had returned from the Cape. There he 
cruised week after week, knowing how much stronger 
D'Achc was, but determined not to let him pass unscathed. 
At the end of June he was joined by two more of the 
line from England, bringing out five Indiamen. They 
contained part of a new King's regiment which Colonel 
Eyre Coote had raised for service in India, and Pocock, 
knowing what odds were against him, kept the troops to 
reinforce his shrunken crews. 

But now came a fresh complication. The Dutch, 
after their manner of fishing in troubled waters, had 
sent out a powerful armament to increase their own 
influence, and it was feared they meant to oust Clive 
from Bengal. As soon as Pocock knew of the danger, 
he, with his characteristic devotion, sent the troops on to 
Madras with a strong recommendation that at least part 
of them should go forward to Clive. 

Still there was no sign of D'Ache, and fearing he had 
missed him, Pocock early in August sailed for Pondicherry. 
There he remained cruising before the port till the end of 
the month, when want of water forced him to go back 
to Trincomalee. As he lay there D'Ache appeared off 
Batticaloa, twenty leagues to the southward. His presence 
was unknown to the British, for on September 1st, so 
soon as his water was complete, Pocock sailed again to 
resume his station off Pondicherry. D'Ache did the 
same, and on the morrow the two fleets sighted each 
other. Pocock after his manner, regardless of the enemy's 
superiority, immediately signalled General Chase, and all 
that day and the next strove vainly to bring the French 
to action. But this was no part of D'Ache's strategy. 
In his eyes his duty was to throw supplies into Pondi- 
cherry, and he felt that if he prevented Pocock from 


stopping him lie won the round. L'%uille, his new 
colleague, was a man of different temper, but it was the 
abiding misfortune of France that most of the admirals 
she chose could never free themselves from the bonds of 
her defensive strategy. Excellent in its place, it was 
certainly out of place in India. The whole problem was 
one of commerce protection emphasised and made clearer 
by the vital necessity that France should get quickly 
into her hands something England could not afford to 
part with. It depended absolutely on getting command 
of the sea; D'Ache's force thoroughly justified a bold 
and sustained offensive ; and yet his eyes were closed.^ 

In justice to D'Achu it must be said that there is 
one possible explanation of his apparently faint-hearted 
behaviour. According to a sailor who was in the fleet 
he had ordered seven of his largest ships to board, and 
had provided the men with " caps and breastplates for 
the purpose." It is conceivable, therefore, that his tactics 
may have been designed to secure a certain chance of 
executing this manoeuvre, but the same authority says 
the whole object of his voyage was to land stores and 
money at Pondicherry.^ 

Pocock, as though he divined the object that was in 
his opponent's mind, was not to be beaten, and without 
making any further attempt to keep contact, gave up 
trying to engage him away from his port, and pushed 
on boldly to cut him off from Pondicherry. The stroke 
was well played. He was off the port on September 8th. 
D'Ach(5 had not arrived, and it was not till next day 

' D'Achd's force was two 74's and two 64's of the King's, and one 68 and 
six 54's of the Company's, or eleven capital ships in all (Lacour-Gayet, 
p. 515). Pocock had seven of from GO to 68 guns and two 60's. 

2 " Report of a Man who was in the French Fleet," enclosed in Pocock's 
Despatch of Oct. 12, In-lctters, 161. Pocock believed this report was 
substantially correct. 


that he appeared. It was now impossible for him to get 
in without fighting, and he did not refuse the action. 
Early on September 10th Pocock saw him some eight or 
nine miles to leeward standing towards the land on the 
starboard tack in line ahead, with the wind at north- 
west by west. He at once bore down in line abreast on 
the enem3'^'s centre. As he approached D'Achc wore on 
the opposite tack, and Pocock hauling into line ahead 
brought the two fleets parallel on the same tack in the 
orthodox manner. The usual action ensued, greatly to 
the disadvantage of Pocock, for D'Ache's movement had 
thrown his two rearmost ships out of action, and they 
were not able to engage at all. From eleven till four 
the action lasted, seven ships against eleven, so that 
the British were constantly fighting two to one. Still 
even so the superior British gunnery told its tale. One 
by one, as the French received the rapid fire into their 
hulls, they were beaten out of the line. At last, with 
D'Ache severely wounded and his flag-captain killed, the 
flagship herself hauled out. The rest that were still in 
action followed her lead, and by five the whole French 
fleet was bearing off south-south-east away from Pondi- 
cherry. So far it was a fine victory for the British. 
But as usual the French had cut our rigging to 
pieces, and Pocock, being unable to follow, could do no 
more than lie-to where he was, between the enemy and 
their destination. Next morning they were seen again, 
but were soon out of sight, and as Pocock was scarcely 
able to move, still less to beat back to the northward, 
they easily worked round him, and while in the far St. 
Lawrence the French flag was being hauled down on the 
walls of Quebec, they got safely into Pondicherry. 

Thus D'Achc achieved his object, but at tremendous 
cost. While the British lost about five hundred and 

1759 POCOCK AND D'ACH^ 125 

seventy men in killed and wounded, the French, 
according to the report Pocock received, lost abont 
fifteen hundred, L'Eguille losing no less than a 
hundred and eighty in his own ship alone.^ Allowing 
for all exaggeration it was for the numbers engaged a 
very sanguinary battle. But Pocock was not yet satisfied. 
On the 12th he anchored at the Dutch factory of 
Negapatam, and sending thence to Madras received a 
small reinforcement of men. Thus recruited, on the 
20th he put to sea again, and began to work up to 
Madras in order to cover that place. To reach it he 
had to pass Pondicherry, and the French fleet was lying 
in the road. He might easily have run past in the 
night or have given the danger a wide berth, but that 
did not suit his spirit. It was liable, he thought, to 
misinterpretation. So in the true Elizabethan manner 
he chose to saunter past in broad daylight and in battle 
order just out of range of D' Ache's guns, with the wind 
straight off shore. Laying his main topsails to the 
mast he just kept steerage way, till towards evening the 
French officers could bear it no longer, and they forced 
D'Ache to weigh. By the time they were under sail it 
was of course too late to engage, and as night fell they 
returned ignominiously to the anchorage, leaving Pocock 
to continue his way in high contentment. 

Angry as the garrison was with D'Ache for the insult 
he had suffered, their feelings rose to fury when he 
announced his intention of returning to his base as soon 
as he had landed the stores and treasure. In vain they 
protested. D'Ach4 said the season was too far advanced 
for further operations, and that he knew a British rein- 
forcement of four of the line was close at hand. Accord- 

1 "Report of a Man who was in the French Fleet," In-Iettcrs, 161, 
Oct. 12. 


ingly on September 19 th he sailed. Thereupon there 
was a solemn meeting at the governor's, where it was 
unanimously resolved that D'Ache's conduct meant the 
loss of everything in India, and they held him responsible 
for the death-blow of the French power in the East. The 
resolution Avas sent after him by a ship that had been 
detained. It overtook him, and he came back. But 
still he would not stay, and still protested his mission 
was fulfilled. All they could even then obtain from him 
was five hundred Europeans and four hundred natives, 
and having landed this reinforcement on September 27th 
he finally sailed for Mauritius. 

It was indeed the death-blow to the French position in 
India, as Lally and his officers had protested. It is easy 
to exaggerate the effect of the command of the sea upon 
Continental power, but in this case it meant nearly every- 
thing. The end might be far or near, but if the English 
were left in control of the Indian seas there could be but 
one end. Above all was it fatal at a moment when the 
war was changing to its second phase, and England was 
free to turn her commerce defence into a coercive often- 
sive, which the French in the East were left powerless to 
resist. What D'Achc the sailor could not see, Lally the 
soldier saw too well : and Pocock saw it too. 

For some days he had hovered to windward of Pondi- 
cherry, but when D'Ache put to sea and Avent southward 
he penetrated the whole situation. Convinced that it 
meant a return to Mauritius, and being wholly unable to 
chase, he went north to Madras. There he heard that 
Cornish was at hand with the rest of his reinforcements, 
and after watering he decided he might safely go round to 
the Malabar coast to refit. On his way he met the new 
squadron with Coote and the rest of his regiment. All 
was therefore secure, and sending the troops to Madras he 


carried on round Ceylon with the whole fleet till the mon- 
soon should be passed. 

So ended Pocock's command. Cornish had brought 
out his recall, couched in highly complimentary terms, 
by which he was authorised to hand over the station to 
Steevens, his capable second in command, and come home 
for his health.^ Still he tarried. For as he lay at Bom- 
bay refitting his squadron news reached him that the 
Dutch armament had actually struck at Clive in Calcutta, 
and he wrote home to say that, until he knew the extent 
of the danger and how far it was likely to be supported 
by the governor of Batavia, he meant to remain. The 
danger was real enough ; but Clive knew how to deal 
with danger. Two Dutch transports arrived in the river 
from Batavia, bound for their chief factory, which was at 
Chinsura, some twenty-five miles above Calcutta.. Clive 
promptly sent down word that he could not permit the 
troops they carried to proceed to their destination. The 
officer in command submitted, with a request that he 
mierht land his men for refreshment at the mouth of 
the river. It was granted, but he had no real intention 
of being stopped. He was only Avaiting for the rest of 
his force to persist in his mission. Five more ships 
quickly arrived, and he began seizing all the British 
vessels he could lay hands on. An Indiaman, under a 
Captain Wilson, dropping down the river homeward 
bound, was stopped and told she would be sunk if she 
tried to pass the squadron. Wilson promptly returned 
to Calcutta. Two more Indiamen were lying there, and 
Clive ordered the three to go down together and clear 
the river. The Dutch were seven to three, but the Com- 
pany's captains, being better armed, did not hesitate. On 
November 24th they boldly engaged, and in two hours 

1 " Secret Orders," Out-lelUrs, 1331, March 30, 1759. 



they had captured all the Dutch squadron except the 
second m command. He escaped down the river, but 
only to be captured by two other Indiamen that had just 
come in from home. On shore Clive was equally success- 
ful. Before the action the Dutch troops had been landed 
to march to Chinsura. Forde, the hero of the recent 
success in the Sirkars, was ordered out to intercept them, 
and after a sharp engagement he practically annihilated 
the Dutch force. So the British position and prestige in 
Bengal were more firmly established than ever, and the 
Dutch eventually disowned the action of their officers 
and paid the Company compensation. 

It is eloquent of the strategical difficulties of the 
Indian station that the news of these successes took 
nearly three months to reach Pocock in Bombay. It is 
the fashion now merely to deride his battle tactics, which 
after three actions in eighteen months had failed to 
secure a real decision, though the tactics which would 
have secured a decision against a superior force deter- 
mined to avoid one are never very clearly indicated. 
More just it would be to praise his vehement " general 
chases," the daring and resolute attacks which in manner 
yielded nothing to Hawke's, and above all for the strate- 
gical insight, and courage which enabled him to dominate 
a sea which it was practically impossible for his inferior 
force to command. Thus it was his conduct was justly 
regarded at the time. In April 17 GO he sailed for Eng- 
land loaded with the praises of the Company's officials. 
At home the King received him with promotion and the 
Bath, and the India-House with the fullest honours they 
could confer. He had been sent out " to protect the 
East India Company's trade and settlements," and well 
had he done his duty. In one place only did he fail. 
While he was helpless after his last action, the Comte 


d'Estaing, a general officer who had broken his parole, 
struck behind his back with a small expedition from 
Mauritius at the defenceless factory of Gombroon in the 
Persian Gulf, and forced it to capitulate. But so small a 
loss was scarcely seen in the mass of Pocock's success. 

It was not till he had seen the fleet ready for a new 
campaign, and on its way to the Coromandel coast, that 
he left the station. By his able arrangements Cornish 
was in position off Ceylon at the opening of the new year 
with his fresh squadron. Shortly before his arrival Coote 
had on January 22nd, 1760, completely defeated Lally at 
Wanderwash, a victory second only in importance to that 
of Clive at Plassey. Its effect was to enable him to re- 
duce all the French minor positions in the Carnatic, till 
at the end of March he was able to combine a joint attack 
with Cornish on the important port of Carical. It fell on 
April 5th. As it was the outlet for the rich country of 
Tanjore, to which Lally had to look for his supplies, the 
loss was very severe. Accompanied with the British 
successes in the interior, it meant that Lally had nothing 
left but Pondicherry, and that his retention even of his 
capital depended absolutely on the return of D'Achd 
But of D'Achd there was no news. At the end of April, 
Steevens, the new commander-in-chief, joined Cornish 
from Bombay, and as Coote began to close in methodi- 
cally upon the last French foothold, Steevens estab- 
lished a vigorous blockade of the port. In July he 
was joined by two more of the line, which had been 
sent out in hot haste at the end of 1759, when it 
became known how strong D'Achd was.^ In August 
Coote completed the investment by land, and still 
D'Ache did not come. 

' " Secret Order to Captain (Hyde) Parker of the Norfolk." The seeond 
ship was the ParUher.— Out-letters, 1331, Dec. 10. 



So late in the season he was scarcely to be expected 
now. Some unknown cause, it was felt, must have kept 
him at the Mauritius. Yet the situation was by no 
means easy. The time was close at hand for Steevens to 
retire to the Malabar coast, and Coote found himself too 
weak to deliver an assault. To starve Lally out was the 
only chance, and if Steevens abandoned the blockade 
this could not be done. Contrary, therefore, to all pre- 
cedent the admiral received from Governor Pigot an 
urgent request to hold his position despite the stormy 
season. Was it the inspiring influence of Hawke's 
winter blockade of Brest reverberating to the distant 
East ? Who can tell ? All we know is that Steevens 
consented. Early in October, when there was no longer 
any reasonable fear of D'AcIk^'s appearing, he held away 
to Trincomalee to water and refit as he could, leaving five 
of the line to continue the blockade, and by the end 
of December he was back again in person. Still Lally 
stubbornly held his ground, and day by day his devoted 
garrison strained their eyes, almost without hope, for the 
sails of a relieving squadron. Why did it not come ? 
The answer to the question is one of the most striking 
points in the war. It brings home to us more forcibly 
than ever the far-reaching effect of Pitt's favourite 
strategical device, and reveals how coercively the war 
was changing its character. 

Olive's urgent appeal to Pitt had reached his hands 
just after he had received the inspiring news of Quebec. 
In this letter Olive told how all in vain he had be- 
sought the Oompany to put him in a position to seize 
a country which by an easy conquest would bring them 
a revenue of two millions. Possibly, he said, so large a 
sovereignty as all Bengal was too great for a mercantile 
company, but he urged it was well worthy of the British 


government to take such a conquest in hand, and that 
it might be brought about without draining the mother 
country of her resources, as had been too much the case 
with our possessions in America. On November 26th, 
while Pitt was in hourly expectation of hearing Hawke 
had destroyed Conflans's fleet, he had an interview with 
Walsh, Olive's secretary, who had brought the letter 
home. Pitt received him very cordially, but though 
he declared he regarded Olive's project as quite practical, 
he made difficulties. There was doubt, he said, whether 
under the charter the Oompany would not be entitled to 
the conquest, and although the country might easily be 
taken, he did not believe it could be retained except by 
such " a genius as Oolonel Olive." His successors would 
probably not be equal to the task.^ 

There the matter rested. Walsh could elicit no 
further encouragement, but it may be that a seed had 
been sown. It will be remem.bered that in April 1760 
Newcastle Avas troubled with suspicions of a new com- 
bined expedition, of which Anson knew nothing but to 
which Hardwicke believed Howe was privy. Earlier in 
the year Pitt had certainly been bent upon carrying out 
his long-deferred project against Belleisle. At the time 
it was suspected that Soubise meant to occupy Flanders, 
and that possibly the movement portended another 
desperate attempt to invade. For Pitt it was a reason 
for renewing his old policy of counter-attack by attempt- 
ing Belleisle, but the idea filled Newcastle and his friends 
with alarm. Boscawen apparently had been consulted 
and had reported against the enterprise, but Pitt was 
not to be deterred, and according to Newcastle he re- 
fused even to look at Boscawen's report, since he knew 
naval opinion regarded the capture of the island as use- 

^ Chathatn Corr., vol. i. pp. 387-392, and note. 


less} However this may have been, the thing was dropped, 
partly, no doubt, because the information of the intended 
invasion was soon found out to be false, and partly 
because Pitt was persuaded to give way and send the 
" glorious reinforcement " to Ferdinand in order to en- 
able him to take the offensive and get a decision in 
a more orthodox way. 

It would seem, however, that the idea of a combined 
expedition was not entirely laid aside, but it was now 
to be directed to a colonial sphere. The contemporary 
historian of the war, who was usually well informed, 
asserts that such an expedition was certainly being 
prepared, and that its objective was the islands of 
Mauritius and Bourbon.^ This authority is not, of 
course, unimpeachable, and no trace of such an intention 
is to be found in official papers. This, however, counts 
for nothing when the secret was Pitt's own. In any 
case, it is certain something of the kind was in his head, 
and that he communicated it to the East India Company. 
In April the Company wrote out to the Council in Bengal 
a long and formal answer to Clive's unending complaints 
that his importunity for troops was ignored. They 
showed, on the contrary, that they had done their best, 
but that hitherto it had been impossible to move the 
government. Pitt's hands had been too full, but now 
things had changed. " The force," they wrote, " which 
went abroad last year and is now destined for India 
will show how we are working for you."^ Hence it 
would seem quite clear that Pitt at this time was 
certainly planning to extend his offensive to the Indian 

^ Newcastle's " Mem. for business with Hardwicke, &c.," Feb. 18, 1760, 
Stowe MSS., 263; and Newcastle to Yorke, Feb. 8, Newcastle Papers, 

* Beatson, vol. ii. p. 420. 

' Auber's British Power in Inilia, vol. i. p. 71. 

i76o HOW D'ACHl^. WAS HELD 133 

Ocean. But there came a cry from Ferdinand for a 
diversion in his favour. In spite of the " glorious re- 
inforcement " he had been unable to make head, and we 
have seen how at the last moment the secret expedition 
had to be reorganised and strengthened Avith the inten- 
tion of directing it against the original objective, Belleisle. 
How it eventually fared must be told later. For the 
present the effect in India suffices. 

There it had already done its work. The menace was 
enough to upset the whole position of the French in 
the East. By some means or other they must have 
got wind of the design almost as soon as it was con- 
ceived. For on June 8th a warning reached Mauritius 
from Versailles that an attack was coming. And not 
only a warning. For the French government in its 
alarm felt compelled to order the fleet on which Lally's 
position in India depended, to devote itself to defending 
its own base. D'AcIkj had not yet sailed for Pondi- 
cherry when the fatal order arrived. Early in the year 
a terrible cyclone had overwhelmed both fleet and island 
with misfortune. Ever since that time he had been 
busy repairing damages, and now that he was at last 
ready to try conclusions once more upon the Coromandel 
coast, he was stopped. For the warning from France of 
the intended attack brought him strict orders that on no 
account was he to quit the islands, and that even if he 
had left them he was to return immediately.^ 

So this is why, on the walls of Pondicherry, Lally 
strained his eyes in vain for the sails of the fleet which 
alone could save him. This is the answer to the ques- 
tion why D'Ache did not come. It was another startling 
result of Pitt's favourite weapon — one more striking 

' Barchou de Penhoen, Hist, de V Empire Anylaisc dmis Ics hides, vol. ii. 
p. 247 ; Lacour-Gayet, p. 385. 


example of the far-reaching disturbance of troops upon 
the sea. " I don't beHeve," wrote Newcastle of the 
abortive expedition, " it ever frightened or alarmed 
France." He could not tell that even if the threat 
had not availed to achieve what was hoped in Europe, 
yet far beyond his ken in the Indian seas it had caused 
so grave an alarm as to tear from Lally his last hope of 
retaining his hold for France. 

So soon as the fatal order reached D'Ache he sent 
away two frigates, the Hermione and the Balcine, to inform 
Lally that he must now rely on his own resources. 
Both vessels managed to get into Pondicherry ; and so, 
as Coote and Steevens closed him in, Lally knew the 
succour on which he had been relying as his only 
chance would never come. He did his best to keep 
the sentence of death to himself; he gave out that a 
great fleet was shortly to be expected; but the end of 
all was staring him in the eyes. To emphasise the im- 
potence of his position, Steevens one night, by a daring 
piece of boat-work, cut out both the Hermione and Baleine 
from under his guns. 

Once and once only there was a gleam of hope. 
Coote's lines drew closer and closer and his batteries 
galled more shrewdly, and it looked as if nothing 
would loose Steevens's hold in spite of the risk he had 
run in remaining on the coast. But as the old year 
passed there was a change, and the first hours of 1761 
brought down upon the fleet such a cyclone as D'Ach(5 
had suffered just a year before at the islands. The 
havoc was terrible. At the moment the blockading 
force consisted of eight of the line with a couple of 
frigates and some storeships. Of these four of the line 
were dismasted, one driven ashore, two foundered, and 
the smaller craft fared no better. Steevens alone sue- 


ceeded in getting to sea in the Norfolk, his flagship, 
and shortly returned all standing. He found Lally had 
sent far and wide notices that the blockade was raised, 
and urgent invitations for the despatch of provisions at 
any cost. But Steevens only set his teeth the harder. 
In a day or two he was joined by Cornish, who had 
fortunately been at sea with two of the line, and three 
more came in a little later. Thereupon Steevens sent 
out counter-notices to Dutch and Danes that he still 
had eleven of the line and two frigates, and the blockade 
remained effective.^ For the French to hold on longer 
was useless. The reappearance of the dogged force 
which even cyclones could not shake off quenched the 
last spark of hope, and on January 15 th Pondicherry 

So in the end the splendid fabric which the ill- 
requited sons of France had erected for her in India, 
fell to fine seamanship. We duly honour the great ex- 
ample which Hawke had set before Brest; his bold 
institution of the winter blockade has won its true 
place in our annals ; but there is no reason, when we 
feel the glow of his achievement, why we should forget 
how the tempests of the changing monsoons were faced 
triumphantly by Charles Steevens. 

Thanks to his courage and the tenacity of Coote, all 
was lost to the French on the mainland of India. But 
there yet remained their base in the islands, from which 
their position had been nourished, and from which it was 
still open to them to harass our Indian trade. While 
Mauritius and Bourbon remained in their hands the 
work was unfinished, and it so happened that the very 
day Pondicherry surrendered, orders were being issued 
for the final stroke. 

' steevens to Admiralty, Feb. G. 17G1, Inletters, 102. 


In spite of the diversion of the secret expedition 
for a European objective, the original intention had not 
been lost sight of for a moment. Directly Keppel's 
orders were changed for Belleisle, it had been 
taken up by the East India Company on their own 
account, and at the end of November 1760, when it 
was still believed that Keppel was going to Belleisle, 
they sent out instructions for the purpose to Madras. 
The idea, as they put it, was that as soon as the French 
were driven from the coast of Coromandel, the blow 
should be followed to the Mauritius and Bourbon ; but 
the Madras council were given clearly to understand 
that the Company had no intention of increasing their 
responsibilities by retaining the islands permanently. 
The object of the expedition would be to destroy the 
fortifications and to ruin the harbours, so that the 
French could never use them again. The caveat is 
important, for it certainly suggests that Pitt's idea, 
while it lasted, had been a permanent occupation. As 
to the means, the Indian provincial authorities were 
informed that the King's government had procured 
twelve hundred men for the enterprise, and that the 
Company was raising recruits of its own. At the 
moment they were trying to get from Pitt a definite 
order for the admiral to co-operate with his whole 
fleet, and they assured their officers that success at the 
islands was certain if they would do their part.^ 

The efforts of the Company at home fared even better 
than was hoped. For no sooner was the Belleisle 
project abandoned, as it was too late in starting to 
succeed, than the matter was again taken in hand by 

^ Secret Committee of E.I.C. to Select Committees of St. George and 
Bombay (Extracts), Nov. 23, 1760. Enclosed in Cornish to Anson, 
June 21, 1761, In-letterK, 1701. 


Pitt. The completion of the conquest of Canada made 
an ^ttempt on Mauritius and Bourbon more than ever 
legitimate as a form of final pressure to bring France 
to terms. It Avas exactly suited to the secondary phase 
which the war had now entered. Consequently, within 
a fortnight of Keppel's being ordered to disembark his 
troops at Portsmouth, the original idea was laid before 
the new king,^ and a fortnight later again, as Pondi- 
cherry was surrendering, secret orders for carrying out 
the enterprise were drafted and placed in a sealed 
packet to be taken out to Steevens by Captain Hughes 
in the Seaford frigate.' The plan was on a scale that 
the seriousness of the operation warranted. By the 
sealed orders Steevens was informed that in March 
Keppel would sail with a fleet of the line, besides 
frigates, transports, fireships, and victuallers, that the 
troops would number ten thousand, besides an artillery 
train, that they would be victualled for eighteen months, 
and that Mauritius was the objective. He was, accord- 
ingly, to do all he could to co-operate. After detailing 
a fully sufficient force to protect the interests of the 
Company in India, he was to send or take the rest of 
his fleet to St. Augustine Bay in Madagascar. There 
he would find a frigate sent forward by Keppel to inform 
him when his force was to be expected off Mauritius, 
and the two admirals were then to rendezvous eastward 
of it at the island of Diego Rays.^ The original idea 

' Newcastle Papers, Jan. 1, 17G1, "Mem. for the King. The Two 
Operations in the East Indies and in Martinico, &c." 

* "Secret Orders," Jan. 15 and 16, Out-letters, 1331. 

^ " Secret Orders," Jan. 16, \1Q\, Out-lettcrs, 1331. Professor Laughton 
informs me that " Diego Rays " was the name given in Queen Anne's time 
to "Rodriguez," which lies to the eastward of Mauritius. It is also so 
called in the East India Pilot, 1796. The movements of Cornish and 
Tiddeman show it cannot have been the present "Diego Rays" which 
lies to the south of the Maldives. 


had been that Pocock should command the whole, but 
since he had come homo Steevens was informed a little 
later that Keppel was to do so, and that he himself 
Avas to remain on the Coromandel coast and merely send 
his spare ships to Diego Rays.^ 

These orders Steevens never received. He died in May, 
leaving the command to Cornish. No sooner was the 
new admiral in office than he found himself entangled 
in what he regarded as a wild and ill-digested scheme for 
seizins: Mauritius and Bourbon with the forces which 
the Company had at its disposal. The scheme was the 
result of the orders which the India-house had sent 
out in the previous November, when Keppel's expedi- 
tion was first abandoned. The condition for action on 
which the Company's plan was based, was fulfilled by 
the fall of Pondicherry, and Pigot felt himself bound 
to begin. The idea had already been mooted at the 
beginning of March between Pigot and Colonel Monson, 
the officer who had taken Carical with Cornish. In 
communicating with Steevens the two officers said 
nothing about the Company's orders. The proposal 
came as an idea of Pisfot himself, and there was a 
good deal of misunderstanding and delay, especially 
as Clive was clamouring for the troops intended for 
the expedition to be sent to Bengal instead. The fact 
is, that when Pigot first broached the project, the orders 
from the India House cannot have reached him. It 
was an idea of his own, but this, apparently, Cornish 
did not know. He felt that something had been held 
back from his former chief and from himself. Still, 
believing Pigot had no real wish to undertake the 
enterprise, and that he was only trying to entrap him 
into refusing on naval grounds, he gave a sullen assent, 

» "Secret Orders," March 4, Out-htters, 1331. 


and in no pleasant humour went round to Bombay to 
prepare his part, leaving Commodore Tiddeman in 
command on the Coromandel side. 

The acrimonious correspondence that ensued, boded 
little hope of success. Fortunately, it was not put to 
the trial. In July Pitt's secret orders reached Madras. 
Tiddeman opened them, and, without telling Pigot 
their contents, he got him to forward them to Cornish 
at Bombay. He himself took the responsibility of 
acting on them at once, and sailed with his squadron 
for St. Augustine Bay. It was not till the end of 
August that the orders reached Cornish. He, too, was 
as eager as Tiddeman. Delighted to be rid of Pigot's 
scheme, he Avrote to the governor that he was now pro- 
ceeding on the King's affairs, and immediately sailed 
direct for Diego Rays.^ There the two squadrons met. 
Tiddeman had not been into St. Augustine Bay, because 
he had met the frigate which was bringing out Pitt's 
latest order that Keppel was to command and Cornish 
to remain on his station. From the same source Tidde- 
man had also learnt that Keppel would be at the Cape 
early in September, and he had therefore come on to 
Diego Rays direct. Still Cornish was too eager for 
action to go back. He resolved, having come so far, 
to stay and see, as he said, if there was anything ho 
could do for Keppel. 

So, in spite of the last order, the two waited together 
in keen expectation week after week. October passed 
into November and still there was no sign of Keppel 
and his fleet, December came and with it a message 

1 Cornisli to Anson, June 21, 1761, witli its enclosures ; same to Madras 
Council, Aug. 22 and 31, and to Admiralty, Aug. 31 ; Pigot to Cornisli, 
July .30, Jn-letters, 1G2. Colonel Monson to Colonel Draper, March 2, 
Newcastle Papers, 32,919. 


from our Consul at Aleppo, by way of the Persian Gulf, 
tliat the expedition had been again diverted to Belle- 
isle, and that a peace congress was to meet in July. '^ 
Though only half willing to believe the tale, Steevens ,'ji8vv; 
and Tiddeman could remain no longer where they were. 
Provisions were giving out, and in deep disappointment 
they sailed back to Madras. There they found the 
Terpsichore, Thurot's old frigate, which they had missed 
by not going to St. Augustine Bay, and in her were 
orders eight months old cancelling the whole project.^ 
The Consul at Aleppo was right. Again at the last 
moment the expedition had been diverted to Belleisle, 
and a congress was once more on foot. 

1 Cornish's Despatch, Dec. 6, 1761, and April 5, \1^2, In-Jetters, 162; 
" Secret Orders," May 18, 1761, Out-letters, 1331. 



The reasons for the second diversion of the Mauritius 
expedition lie deep in the tangled politics of the Avar. 
Since Pitt had first conceived the idea the situation 
had completely changed, and was twining itself into 
fresh complexities, which profoundly influenced his 

At the end of 1760 the war had reached a crisis at 
which it occurred to every one that a balance might be 
struck. With the completion of the conquest of Canada 
England had attained her object, and with the other 
securities she had in hand was in a position to claim 
all she had fought for. Prussia was nearly exhausted, 
but had more than held her own. France was in a 
deplorable condition internally, and quite incapable, with 
the destruction of her navy, of recovering what she had 
lost to England. Moreover, she was persuaded she had 
nothing to gain by pursuing the quarrel of Maria Theresa 
with Frederick to the death. It was obviously not her 
interest to leave Austria without a rival in Germany. 
Every one, indeed, was weary of the cause of " Madame 
d'Hongrie," and no one but Austria, at least none of the 
combatants, could discern any advantage in the war being 

Frederick, with his usual penetration, saw it was the 
moment to act, and saw what the moment required. 

142 BELLEISLE 1760-1 

With the new year there came from him a proposal 
that England should open communications with France 
with a view to negotiating a separate peace without regard 
to his own quarrel with the Austrian coalition. The idea 
was thoroughly worthy of his ingenuity. The previous 
attempt at stopping the war had demonstrated the 
clumsiness and indeed the futility of trying to secure 
a general peace by means of a congress. The situation 
was too complex and the various interests too diverse. 
But as between France and England they were plain 
and simple, if Frederick himself chose to give England 
a free hand. This he could well afford to do, for he had 
no illusions as to the real nature of the war. The clear- 
ness of his political vision told him that if France once 
made peace with her real and original enemy she would 
soon find means of forcing Austria to follow her example. 
With France and England at one and the great imperial 
struggle finished, the minor European superstructure 
must quickly collapse. Thus from Frederick's own lips 
we have a striking confirmation of the British view of 
the war. Like Pitt he saw the Prussian struggle for 
existence, with which in uiodern times the Seven Years' 
War has been too freely identified, as a sub-plot of the 
world-wide drama in which France and England were 
the protagonists. So dispassionate a sense of proportion 
is the rarest of political virtues. Pitt's view of the war 
could want no stronger endorsement.^ 

In London the proposal was received with mixed 
feelings. Pitt held back, and kept finding excuses for 
not receiving Frederick's envoys. In his eyes enough 

^ Newcastle Papers, 32,917. " Mem. for the King," Jan. 1, 1761, " Precis 
of the King of Prussia's Letters" ; Newcastle to Hardwicke and Hard- 
wicke's reply, Jan. 3. For the text of the letters to which Newcastle 
clearly refers, see Frederick to Knyphausen from Leipzig, Dec. 19 and 21. 
Politsche Corr., vol. xx. pp. 156 and 162. 


had not been done. He had firmly fixed in his mind 
that it was his duty to put it out of the power of 
France ever to resuscitate her navy, and that more 
must be torn from her before she would consent to 
the terms he wished to impose. His expedition against 
Mauritius was almost ready to start, and he was already 
preparing another for the complete destruction of the 
French power in the West. 

Already in the middle of December he had warned 
Amherst to prepare to support it by placing the North 
American garrisons in the hands of provincial troops in 
order to free the greater part of the King's forces for 
an expedition " either against Mobile and the Mississippi, 
or Martinique and the other French islands in the West 
Indies." The first week in the new year after Frederick's 
proposal had been received, Amherst was informed more 
definitely that the expedition was to be directed against 
Martinique. Such an attempt, however, could not be 
made until after the hurricane months — that is, not 
till the end of September or the beginning of October. 
" In the meantime," Pitt wrote, " as it would be highly 
expedient for the good of his Majesty's affairs if some 
interesting attempt could be made with success during 
the earlier part of the year, the impression whereof could 
not but have a very beneficial influence in Europe both 
at home and abroad," he was to endeavour to get away 
two thousand troops at once, and in co-operation with 
the governor of Guadeloupe and Sir James Douglas, 
who was commodore on the Leeward Islands station, to 
seize Dominica, and, if possible, St. Lucia. ^ 

With these projects on foot it was natural Pitt had no 
desire to treat till the results were in his pocket. Perhaps, 

» Pitt to Amherst, Dec. 17, 17C0, and Jan. 7, 1761, Thackeray, History of 
Lord Chatham, appendix iv. 

144 BELLEISLE 1761 

too, his acute penetration permitted him already to per- 
ceive the deep and dangerous game with which the 
proposed negotiations were likely to be entangled — for 
which, perhaps, they were only a cloak. On the other 
hand, the King and his favourite, Bute, were ready to 
seize any opportunity of escaping from the German war. 
Newcastle and his friends, together with the powerful 
Bedford influence, Avere even more eager for peace, partly 
from a genuine belief that enough had been done, and 
that it was bad policy to secure too great a domination 
of the sea, and partly because nothing but peace could 
rid them of the detested domination of Pitt. 

More powerful, perhaps, than all these ministerial 
influences were the rise and growth of a serious revul- 
sion of public opinion against the war. It had been 
aroused during the past year by the publication of a 
pamphlet entitled " Considerations on the Present German 
War." With the exception of Swift's " Conduct of the 
Allies," no such work had ever produced so deep an 
effect in England, and no history of the war can afford 
to ignore it either on political or strategical grounds. 
It was issued anonymously, but was known to be the 
work of a nonconformist schoolmaster, called Israel 
Mauduit, who had aheady come forward as a clever 
pamphleteer during the controversy over the loss of 
Minorca in 1757.^ Coming from such a source, the 
work displays astonishing ability and understanding. 
With a full grasp of modern military history, the 
author makes an ordered attack on the whole system 
of Continental war into which Pitt had been reluctantly 
forced. With merciless cogency he points out the 
political folly of a country with a weak army and a 

1 A Letter to the Riglit Hon. Loi-d B y (Blakency), being an Enquiry 

into the Merits of his Defence oj Minorca. 


powerful navy engaging in a war between Continental 
States, and in an area where the nature of our national 
force had everything against it — and all for the integrity 
of a small German province in which England had no 
real interest. We had already spent upon it, he said, 
more than all the cost of Marlborough's war both by 
land and sea, and were only sinking deeper and deeper 
into the mire. The whole is a frank and forcible appeal 
to the insular national spirit. No adequate justice is 
done to the place which the Continental operations held 
in Pitt's system, but it is not ignored. The necessity of 
covering Hanover is met by the argument that that 
country, from its geographical position, was not one that 
Franco would care or could afford to hold permanently — 
an opinion which shortly afterwards was expressed by 
Choiseul himself.^ The argument was plausible, and to 
some extent sound, though it certainly does not cover 
the other complex diplomatic considerations which had 
forced Pitt's hand, and which the public was not likely 
to recall. 

Most remarkable, however, of all Mauduit's conten- 
tions is the strategical argument with which the latter 
part of the pamphlet is occupied. " Every one," he 
writes, " who has thought on the subject of war, must 
have considered the three different kinds of it — a war 
of offence, a war of equality, and a war of defence. And 
every one knows that of these the last is the most dis- 
advantageous and the most difficult. When an army 
is to defend itself only, a general will find employment 
for all his attention ; but if it bo to defend a large tract of 
country, unless the attacking general be greatly inferior 
in his art, he will usually prevail. The reason is that 

* To Hans Stanley. See Stanley to Pitt, June 12, 17G1, Thackeray, 
vol. i. p. 523. 


146 BELLEISLE 1761 

the general who acts offensively has it in his own choice 
when and where to direct his main force, while the 
defender must equally divide his." Further, he points 
out that, if the attacking party fails, it merely means that 
he must try again, whereas if the defender be defeated, 
it means disaster. So in the long run defensive war 
has scarcely a chance of succeeding. In dyke countries, 
like the Netherlands, where fortified lines can be used 
effectively, he admits defensive war may be strong, but 
shows that even there the Duke of Marlborough had 
always been able to penetrate any lines the French 
could make. Now, our whole war in Westphalia was 
in conception a defensive war. Ferdinand's army was 
in theory an army of observation, a defensive army, 
to cover Hanover and Frederick's right. Recently, it 
is true, by the late " glorious reinforcement " an effort 
had been made to enable it to pass to the offensive. 
But Mauduit argues that even this idea is fundamentally 
unsound, because in the Westphalian theatre we must 
always be inferior, for no matter how many troops we 
sent, France could always send more. Consequently 
to adopt the offensive was bad, because we could never 
be in sufficient superiority to push it to its logical con- 
clusion by invading France itself. From this undeniably 
good point he proceeds to develop on the most modern 
lines the whole theory of the supremacy of the offensive, 
rounding up with the conclusion that our right line of 
action was upon the sea against the enemy's oversea 
possessions, since in that way we could employ the arm 
in which our supremacy was overwhelming, and which 
enabled us to take the offensive legitimately and with 
resistless power. From beginning to end, it is the doctrine 
which sees the British army as a sword in the hand of 
the fleet. 


The weak point of the argument of course is that 
it treats the Continental operations as a separate war 
instead of as the defensive part of the whole. Still 
it remains the most striking criticism of Pitt's war- 
direction that exists. Where the learning and the very 
modern exposition of the theory of war came from is 
hard to say.^ The hand was the hand of the dissenting 
schoolmaster, the mind was Lord Hardwicke's. Every 
one at least understood the pamphlet was issued with his 
countenance, and as we have seen his letters at this time 
are full of sound and advanced strategical thought.^ It 
was, perhaps, hard that he should turn Pitt's own cher- 
ished theory against him. But the case was serious ; 
politics are pitiless ; and no one can expect to sin against 
the inexorable laws of war, however courageous the 
motive, without finding the sin come home to roost. It 
was Pitt's own system that the pamphlet developed, and 
the wound was the deeper for the true temper of the 
weapon. The power and clear conviction with which 
the case was reasoned, the obvious mastery of the 
question which it displayed, were irresistible. Attempts 
were made to answer it. By the army men still devoted 
to la grande (jucrre it was ridiculed in the way we 
know so well. " These are sounds," they mocked, 
" drawn from speculation, paper-staining warriors, and 
castle-building politicians, but they are disclaimed by 

* It does not occur in Puys^gur's Art de la guerre, 2nd ed., 1749, nor in 
the Riveries of Marslial Saxe, published in Paris in 1757, and at The Hague 
by M. de Bonneville, capitaine ingenieur de campaign in the Prussian 
service in 1758. Conite Turpin de Crissc has something like it in his 
Essai sur I' art de guerre, 1754, and still more in his commentaries on the 
Memoirs of Monteciiculi, but this was not published till 1770. Nowhere is 
found at any rate the important distinction of the middle terra, " war of 
equality," meaning where the two belligerents are equally balanced 
enough for each to seek to attack the other. 

* See ante, p. 84. 

148 BELLEISLE 1761 

practice and experience. Every war in its own nature 
becomes offensive, whatever the pretences may have 
been upon which it was originally founded. If an army 
of defence can offend the enemy, the means of offence 
becomes the most effectual principle of defence." ^ All 
this, though of course perfectly true, was beside the 
point ; it missed the fundamental distinction between 
major and minor strategy, and displayed an incapacity 
to understand the eternal conditions of the offensive 
and the whole theory of the classification on which 
Mauduit's argument was based. Naturally, it failed 
to convince. In spite of the mockery of the Continental 
school, its influence continued to spread. In a few 
months it went through six editions, and Mauduit 
eventually received a Government post from Bute. 
Pitt, of course, entirely shared Mauduit's views, and 
would gladly have gone back to his old system had it 
been possible at the stage the war had reached. " If 
the King," he said to Bute at this time, " is not for 
the war on the Continent, I am ready to abandon it, 
though I think it a right measure," ^ Here he was 
probably correct, given the fact that the best chance 
of tiring France of further resistance was to support 
Frederick, and Pitt's instinct for concentration of effort 
justified his feeling that now was the time to throw all 
the weight we could into that particular scale. For 
him to do things by halves was the one unpardonable 

With such a weight of opinion behind Frederick's 
proposal for bringing the war to an end, it was impossible 

^ A Fiill and Candid Answer, kc. (Brit. Mus. 8132, a. 51, p. 71). 

* Newcastle to Duke of Devonshire, Mar. 13, 17G1, Newcastle Papers, 

Newcastle to Ilardwicke, Jan. 3, 1761, and Hardwicke's reply, New- 
castle Papers, 32,917. 


to resist it. Secret negotiations were opened through 
The Hague, and proceeded so fast, that by February 22 
an intimation had come from Versailles, that if a British 
agent were sent to Calais in a fortnight, Choiseul would 
simultaneously send an agent to Dover, and pourparlers 
could begin in both capitals at once.^ 

To all appearance France was as sincere as she 
was eager. But this may be doubted. At this time 
Marshal Belleisle, who was regarded as the strongest 
advocate of peace at the French court, fell ill. 
Choiseul, the firmest believer in his country's power 
of recovery, was dominating the situation, and when, 
on February 25 th, the Marshal died, Choiseul took his 
place at the War Office, with practical and partly direct 
control of foreign relations as well. That Choiseul was 
already engaged in a subtle game with Spain is certain. 
It was a game which, if successful, seemed sure to place 
him in a good position either to continue the war or 
to insist on easy terms for peace. It was this game 
which Pitt had possibly detected. He saw the old 
shadow of Spain across the path, and by the sudden 
change in the objective of his expedition, he was making 
ready to deal with the lurking antagonist. 

On March 4th, it will be remembered — about ten 
days that is after the French had agreed to open secret 
relations — the last order about the attempt on Mauritius 
had been signed for despatch to India. At that time, 
therefore, and indeed for some days later, Pitt's intention 
must have been that the enterprise against the French 
islands should go forward. Yet in ten days more, on 
March 25 th, the King had signed secret orders for 
Keppel to make Belleisle his objective," What had 

> Newcastle to Hardwicke, Feb. 22, ibid., 32,919. 
* Keppel, Life of Viscount Keppel, vol. i. p. 302. 


happened in that three weeks' interval ? Nothing that 
can be detected, except the interception of some highly 
confidential Spanish despatches that were in a bad code 
and easily deciphered. 

To grasp all that these compromising documents said 
to Pitt, it is necessary to understand exactly hoAv our 
relations stood with Spain. First, it must be recalled 
how at the end of September in the previous year, the 
tone of the Conde de Fuentes, the Spanish ambassador, 
had suddenly changed. The claims he had been sent to 
settle related to certain ships seized during the war, in 
the exercise of our belligerent rights over enemy's goods, 
but mainly to the settlements which our West Indian 
colonists had "made in Honduras for cutting logwood, and 
to an alleged right to complete freedom of fishery on the 
Newfoundland coast and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. 
Wall, who had never swerved from his Anglophile policy, 
honestly believed that Pitt would eventually settle these 
matters in a liberal spirit for the sake of Spanish friend- 
ship ; and hitherto Fuentes had been urging the matter 
in a friendly and equable tone. That Spain had much 
reason to complain of our dilatoriness is not to be denied ; 
but when Fuentes suddenly assumed a peremptory tone, 
and at the same time made the extraordinary statement 
that the Spanish claims had been communicated to 
France, it could only be interpreted as a threat that was 
not to be endured. 

The notorious Marquis of Ensenada, the arch-Anglo- 
phobe in Spain, had been recalled to court by Charles the 
Third. In 1754 he had been banished for instructing 
the Spanish governors to make a piratical attack on the 
British in the West Indies, such as John Hawkins had 
suffered at San Juan de Luz two hundred years before. 
The natural inference was that Wall's friendly influence 


was waning and Ensenada's taking its place. But the 
truth was that Wall himself was losing patience, and the 
real motive force was the energetic and not too wise King 
himself. Pitt answered in the firm and high tone that 
was natural. " I must observe to your Excellency," he 
said, " that we are quite unable to understand the motive 
and object of so extraordinary a communication to a 
court at war with England, and which in any case or on 
any consideration has not any business to interfere with 
Spanish claims on us to the Newfoundland fishery." He 
referred the matter to Hardwicke, and even the level- 
headed, peaceable old lawyer was staggered. " I own," he 
wrote, " I never was more surprised in my life than at 
the style and turn of these two extraordinary pieces, so 
different from what there was reason to expect from the 
mission of M. de Fuentes ; but what could not fail to 
strike most was the previous and unprecedented appeal 
to the Court of France avoAved in the memorial relating 
to the Newfoundland fishery;" and he heartily approved 
Pitt's dignified and forcible answer. As to the Honduras 
and other claims, although, as he said, the manner and 
tone of their presentation disgusted and offended him, he 
wished parts of the claim were not so well founded upon 
the merits. But he warmly applauded the step which 
Pitt had taken in the matter, which was in a very tem- 
perate despatch to instruct Lord Bristol in Madrid to 
confer confidentially with Wall.^ Since then relations 
had only been going from bad to worse. The Spaniards 
continued to arm both by sea and land. At the end of 
January, the Marquis de Grimaldi, a prot(5ge of Ensanada's, 
who had also been in Wall's confidence, was called from 

* Hardwicke to Pitt, Sept. 29, 17G0, Chatham Corr., vol. ii. pp. 68- 
72, and notes; Pitt to Lord Bristol, Sept. 2G.— Thackeray, vol. i. p. 


152 BELLEISLE 1761 

The Hague to take the Spanish Embassy in Paris.^ On 
December 23rd and January 3rd Fuentes again presented 
his claims, and Pitt absolutely refused to listen to him. 
Wall kept pressing him to get an answer, and on January 
23rd he wrote to say it was useless. Pitt would add 
nothing to the despatch he had written to Lord Bristol. 
At the same time Fuentes gave Wall to understand that 
Pitt's inexorable attitude was not generally approved, and 
that a strong party, headed by the Duke of Devonshire, 
were bent on unseating him. This letter was intercepted, 
with what effect upon Pitt can be imagined.^ 

Meanwhile Grimaldi had arrived in Paris and con- 
tinued his correspondence with Fuentes. The whole of 
this was also intercepted. Grimaldi opened on February 
15th, with information that, although there was an 
ardent wish for peace in France, he was officially in- 
formed no direct negotiation had begun. Choiseul was, 
however, trying to get Russia and Austria to agree to 
terms which he believed England and Prussia could not 
fail to accept. Grimaldi enjoined absolute secrecy, because 
he meant to try to get some advantage out of it. " I do 
not know," he concluded, " whether our court will come 
to it, but I think it my duty to propose what may be 
useful to us and I judge it necessary without exposing 
the King." Ten days later another letter was inter- 
cepted, saying that France was resolved to make peace 
on the basis of uti possidetis, and that Vienna and St. 
Petersburg had assented. It was absolutely necessary 
to keep this from the English court, for, as he said, " In 
consideration of this and of our situation, I begin working 

^ Grimaldi to Fuentes, Jan. 30, S.P. Foreign [Intercepted Letters), 91. 

« Fuentes to Wall, Jan. 23, 1701, Newcastle Papers, 32,918. See also 
Chatham Corr., vol. ii. p. 89, where only the latter part of the letter is 


in order to see if we can make some alliance with France 
which may protect us from those accidents we ought 
to fear." 

So far then it would look as if Grimaldi thought peace 
certain, and had hovering in his mind the idea which was 
to develop into the famous " Family Compact," to secure 
Spain against the maritime domination which the peace 
would confirm to England. On March 5th he wrote a 
third letter, saying he had begun his intrigue and had 
informed Madrid for approval. " It appears to me," he 
wrote, " of the utmost importance for us to assure our- 
selves of France, and engage her before she makes peace : 
for afterwards I do not know what inclination she may 
have to go to war again for our sake. I return your 
excellency a thousand thanks for your advices about the 
English expedition. . . . The notion of making proposals 
to England for a congress continues, and I believe will be 
made; but for all this peace is not yet." On March 10th 
Fuentes replied in terms which showed he thoroughly 
understood that Grimaldi's game was to deter France 
from consenting to peace by offering to make common 
cause with her, and thereby to drag her into the Spanish 
quarrel. In a week Fuentes wrote to Paris again to say 
amongst other things the expedition was about to sail, 
but that he had nothing to add about its destination. 
He was delighted with Grimaldi's progress. " If," he 
concluded, " we behave with proper resolution — as I 
hope we shall — and if the Court of France thinks and 
acts as it ought, I promise myself great satisfaction, and 
the greatest of all will be to reduce this nation to proper 
limits, and to reason, which they do not know." On 
March 20th he wrote in the same strain to Wall. " If 
France," he said, " continues the war, we shall be able to 
operate more at our ease. However, the blow will be 

154 BELLEISLE 1761 

none the less certain if the King is wilHng to strike 
alone." ^ On the top of these stirring discoveries there 
was received on March I7th a formal intimation from 
Paris that the French secret agent had been appointed 
and was about to start for England.^ 

With all this information before him, Pitt had reason 
enough to make Belleisle and not the Mauritius the 
objective of his expedition. If war with Spain was 
coming, it would not do to send so considerable a part 
of our force into the Indian Ocean. There would be 
demand and use enough for it nearer home. Again, if 
we were really on the brink of peace with France, it was 
desirable to improve our position at once by a telling 
stroke before negotiations began. Success in the Indian 
Ocean would have no effect, for, as Hardwicke had pointed 
out at the first, the result could not be known for ayear.^ 
On March 18th the instructions for our diplomatic agent, 
Hans Stanley, were settled, and they conclude with a 
significant direction that he was " to give watchful atten- 
tion to the conduct and motions of the Spanish ambas- 
sador " in Paris.* 

Pitt thus saw the country committed to negotiations 
for peace ; but for him that was only a reason for pressing 
the war to its utmost energy. The week that followed 
was devoted to this end. On March 24th he wrote again 
to Amherst to tell him that " an early impression on the 
enemy in America would not fail to have the most 
material, and probably a decisive, influence on the Court 
of France." He was therefore to endeavour to deliver 

1 See Chatham. Corr., vol. ii. pp. 89-101. Fuentes's letter of March 10 
is also in Newcastle Papers, 32,920, and is endorsed as having been read 
the same day. None of this correspondence is amongst the " Intercepted 
letters" in the Record Office, S.P. Foreign. 

* Hardwicke to Newcastle, March 17, Newcaalle Papers, 32,920. 

^ Hardwicke to Newcastle, Jan. 3, 1761, Newcastle Papers, 32,917. 

* Thackeray, vol. i. p. C)02. 


the attack on Martinique the moment the hurricane 
months were passed, and to the six thousand troops he 
had been told to despatch, he was to add every man 
who, in his opinion, could be spared. Further, he 
was to take up transports on the spot, to prevent the 
possibility of delay from the failure of a sufficient 
tonnage coming from home.^ It was the day after this 
letter was penned that Keppel's secret instructions for 
Belleisle were signed, and four days later the expedition 
had sailed. 

Still no countermand was sent to India. Possibly 
Pitt believed that a quick success would clinch matters 
with France, and that he would be able, with Bristol's 
help in Madrid, to get ahead of Grimaldi's intrigues in 
Paris. Such an impression must have been strengthened 
ten days after Keppel was gone. For on March 31st Pitt 
received from Choiseul a memorandum concerning the 
peace, assuring him of his good faith and of his inten- 
tions to treat the King of Prussia in a liberal spirit in 
the proposed congress, and confirming the retention of 
conquests as the basis of negotiation." More probable, 
perhaps, is the view that Pitt, knowing what he did from 
the intercepted Spanish correspondence, read in Choiseul's 
memorandum a mere device to gain time till he could 
gather the fragments of the French navy into some show 
of a fleet, and till Spain had completed her armament. 
It is, at any rate, certain he was for adopting a very high 
tone for the answer to the memorandum, as though he 
wished to unmask the Franco-Spanish game by forcing 
Choiseul's hand, and so bo in a position to strike before 
the enemy had time to concert their measures for the 
revival of the war. 

^ Pitt to Amherst, March 24.- Thackeray, vol. ii. p. 499. 
* Copy in Newcastle Papers, 32,921 March 26. 

156 BKLLEISLE 1761 

Three days after the receipt of Choiseul's memo- 
randum, Pitt had a talk with Newcastle, in which he 
formulated his views. In answer to Choiseul, he pro- 
posed to say that the British Government would not 
entertain the idea of making any compensation for the 
evacuation of Hanoverian territory. He was ready, he 
said, to defend it, but not to purchase its restitution. On 
our own account he would insist on retaining the whole 
of Canada and Cape Breton, and the exclusive right 
to the Newfoundland fisheries ; and he was for giving 
the French agent to understand at the outset that on no 
consideration would these demands be abated. New- 
castle objected that Spain would never consent to a 
monopoly of the fishery, even if France would ; but Pitt 
was unmoved.^ He must have believed as firmly as 
Newcastle that his attitude would in all probability break 
oflf the negotiation at once, and this was apparently his 
real desire. For everything points to the fact that his 
keen intuition had already convinced him that France 
would not suffer us to gather the fruits of the war while 
she had Spain to fall back upon, and that Spain, more- 
over, was determined to intervene. 

A few days later he had an audience of the King, in 
which he pressed the same course of action. He urged 
that he was far from hopeless about the war in Ger- 
many, where Ferdinand had opened the campaign with a 
brilliant if desperate stroke at Soubise, and had forced 
him to retire out of Hesse and fall back on Frankfort. 
As for the rest of the war, our successes in the East and 
West, the prospects of the coming expedition against 
Martinique, on the heels of that against Belleisle, would 
place us in a position to make the demands he had 
formulated. But the King was unconvinced. He argued 

^ " My Conversation with Pitt," Newcastle Papers, 32,921. 


strongly against any peremptory declaration, and so the 
matter had to rest.^ 

To add to Pitt's vexation, his rebuff was followed 
immediately by news that Keppel had failed at Belleisle. 
It was scarcely surprising. The constant reconnaissances 
that had been going on, and the long postponement of 
the enterprise, had given the French warning and time 
enough to reinforce the garrison and greatly strengthen 
its defences. Moreover, the military part of the expedi- 
tion was far from what Pitt had intended. At the outset 
the King had vetoed the despatch of two old regiments, 
because, as ho said, to Pitt's disgust, our safety at home 
was endangered in several quarters.^ The influence was 
probably the old Duke of Cumberland, to whom the 
young king was showing marked deference and attention. 

To the same influence, at least partly, must have been 
due the appointment of General Hodgson as commander- 
in-chief. He had been one of Cumberland's numerous 
aides-de-camp both at Fontenoy and Culloden, and was 
a thorough Duke's man. Writing to his friend Lord 
Albemarle, the commodore's brother, he says, " Amongst 
other flattering things his Majesty was pleased to say, he 
told me he should always have a partiality for the officers 
bred under the Duke : he looked upon that as the best 
school." ^ In the present war he had commanded the 
first brigade at Rochefort, and been one of the famous 
council of war which, as Wolfe put it, decided unani- 
mously " not to attack the place they were ordered to 
attack, and for reasons ^that no soldier will allow to be 
sufiicient." Still, times had changed since then, and with 

^ Newcastle to Hardwicke, April 17, ibid., 32,922, and see Albemarle's 
Memoirs of Rockingham, vol. i. p. 23. 

^ Barriiigton to Newcastle, Jan. 2, Newcastle Papers, 32,917. 
' Keppel, Life of Keppel, vol. i. p. 298. 

158 BELLEISLE 1761 

them the whole spirit of tlie service. Keppel at least 
must have approved his colleague's appointment, for he 
was an old and intimate friend of his family ever since 
he had served as aide-de-camp to the commodore's father 
at Dettingen. Pitt, too, expressed his confidence hand- 
somely, gave him carte blamhe, and kissed him when he 
said good-bye.^ It was the composition of the force 
that was wrong. To begin with, it was far short of 
the designed ten thousand men. Though nominally 
comprised of twelve battalions, it mustered only seven 
thousand. Most of the regiments were quite unseasoned, 
and two of them in so disgraceful a condition of dis- 
cipline and equipment that Keppel wanted to leave them 
behind. To complete the trouble a large proportion of 
the oflScers were absent.^ 

The transports for the force numbered about a hundred 
sail. The escorting fleet consisted of ten of the line, all 
of the lighter kind except one, and eight frigates, besides 
sloops, bomb-ketches, and fireships. Keppel had also a 
covering squadron off Brest, consisting of three or four 
sail, so little was the old danger point to be feared.^ 
It was under the immediate command of Commodore 
Matthew Buckle, who had been Boscawen's flag-captain 
throughout the war. As such he had been present at 
the capture of Louisbourg, and had brought home the 
despatches from Lagos. He also had had the luck to 
fight at Quiberon. Boscawen himself had died suddenly 
of typhoid fever early in January as the squadron was 
being brought forward for sea, but the influence of 
" old Dreadnought " was in the ascendant, and was 
evidently great enough to secure the command for his 
most trusted officer. 

1 Keppel, Life of Kcppd, vol. i. p. 2!)8. " Ibid., pp. 300-1. 

* Keppel to Admiralty, May 21, In-lcUers, 91. 


HaAvke's unlucky star, as Newcastle had foretold, was 
waning. His peerage was still denied him. Pitt, who 
had never liked him, had been exasperated, as we have 
seen, at his failure to grasp the possibilities of the situa- 
tion at Quiberou, and his original patron, the old king, 
was dead. This scant recognition of the admiral's ser- 
vices, however, was by no means confined to Pitt. There 
certainly existed a general dissatisfaction. To all appear- 
ances his last command had been entirely barren and 
inactive. No service had been done of a kind to touch 
the popular imagination. It was forgotten how little the 
completeness of his victory left him to do. Still it was 
not to be denied that the 'ships which had escaped into 
the Charente and the Villaine remained in the security 
they had reached, and no attempt had been made to 
destroy them. In January two of them, with a couple of 
frigates, actually got away to Brest under the charge of a 
few brilliant young officers, who had volunteered for the 
service. It could hardly be argued in Hawke's favour 
that their destruction was impossible, for he had been in 
the act of attempting a carefully elaborated operation to 
that end when he had received the first intimation that 
Keppel's expedition was coming. Later critics have 
supported the opinion of the time in severely censuring 
his inactivity. There is, however, this in support of his 
attitude. The operation he contemplated was essentially 
one for a military force, and if he had reason to expect 
that a military force was coming, it was at least correct 
not to hazard the fighting efficiency of his fleet and his 
power of keeping control of the sea by exposing a large 
part of his crews ashore. Moreover, when he abandoned 
his own scheme, he was only told that the expedition 
was postponed — not that it was abandoned. All, indeed, 
that can fairly be laid to his charge is that his genius 

i6o BELLEISLE 1761 

for using the command of the sea was not equal to that 
which he displayed in obtaining it ; or, as Pitt succinctly 
put it, he was a fine sea-officer but no minister. 

At the end of January, when the menacing attitude of 
Spain could be ignored no longer, Anson had ordered 
him to send home all his three-deckers. A week later 
he was told to bring them home himself, and in March, 
just as Pitt decided finally to send Keppel against Belle- 
isle, he struck his flag at Spithead. Now, therefore, he 
was enjoying the repose that his long winter blockade 
had earned, and took no part in the revival of the coastal 
warfare which had been inaugurated under his flag at 

Pitt's resumption of his original policy is worth close 
study. That policy has come to be judged by the Rochefort 
expedition. Its real exemplification was at Belleisle. It is 
there in its ripest form we should look not only for the 
strategical power of such designs, but also for the character 
and spirit of the operations they demand. For though 
the force, both in its units and in its commander, seemed 
tainted with the old Rochefort sickness, its performance 
was in every way the antithesis of that unhappy fiasco. 
It is true the first attack of Keppel and Hodgson proved, 
as has been said, a failure, but it was just this failure 
that marked how great a change had been wrought in 
the spirit of the services since Pitt first took the war in 

Owing to adverse weather it was not till April 6 th 
that they were off' Belleisle, but six frigates had already 
been thrown forward to cut off' its communication with 
the mainland. Working in during the night, the fleet 
rounded the south end of the island at daybreak, keeping 
close inshore so that a reconnaissance could be made as it 
passed. The inspection was not encouraging. Every 




accessible point was well entrenched and guarded by 
batteries. Still, at an inlet midway upon the south- 
eastern shore, known as Locmaria Bay, both Keppel and 
Hodgson thought they saw a chance. They were for 

attempting it on the spot, but the wind was southerly, 
almost dead on the landing-place, and it put an attack 
out of the question. They had to pass on, and at noon 
the whole fleet anchored in the road opposite Palais, the 
chief town and fortress of the island, which lay on the 


1 62 BELLEISLE 1761 

north-eastern shore facing the mainland. Not to waste 
time while the flat-boats were being prepared for the 
troops, the two chiefs at once proceeded together in a 
cutter to reconnoitre the extreme north end, where stood 
the little fishing port of Sauzon. But here, as every- 
where, they found the garrison alert and formidably 
entrenched. " The coast," wrote the general, " is the 
most inaccessible I ever saw, the whole island is a forti- 
fication." To both of them the task looked almost 
desperate, but no longer was that a reason, as at Roche- 
fort, for not trying. " The enemy," wrote Hodgson, 
" have been at work upon it ever since Sir Edward Hawke 
appeared here in the winter, but all this is nothing. The 
fashion of the times required extraordinary measures. 
Therefore when we returned from our reconnoitring we 
agreed that Port St. Andro, on the south-east part of the 
island, was the most practicable place to attempt a 
descent." Here surely was Wolfe's spirit burning. Again 
we can hear the echo of the words he wrote in his shame 
for Rochefort : " The greatness of an object should come 
under consideration as opposed to the impediments that 
lie in the way." Indeed the whole conduct of the enter- 
prise was in exact accordance with his trenchant and 
soldierlike criticism. Here was no council of war, no 
considering whether an attack was feasible or not, but an 
instant decision by the admiral and general in perfect 
harmony to try, and try hard, where the thing looked 
least ugly. 

From Keppel's letter it appears Port St. Andr^ was the 
same little bay they had reconnoitred the previous day 
near Point Locmaria, and here on the morrow they set 
to work. To ease the difficulty of the task. Captain Sir 
Thomas Stanhope of the Swiftsure, who had been knighted 
for his conduct in Boscawen's action at Lagos, and had also 


fought well at Quiberon, was ordered to make a demon- 
stration to the north against Sauzon with two battalions 
and the marines. With the rest of the troops in the 
flat-boats Keppel went southward, sending forward two 
of the line to destroy a battery that commanded the 
beach at Port St. Andre, This was quickly done, and 
the troops were at once pushed forward for the strip 
of sand that had been marked for a footing. Above it 
rose the hills in an amphitheatre, where the enemy were 
entrenched up to the teeth. Under a destructive fire 
the troops moved in, and effected the landing with bold- 
ness and precision. But it was only to be brought to 
a hopeless standstill. The foot of the hill had been so 
cleverly scarped away that it was impossible to reach the 
enemy's breastworks without scaling-ladders. Desperate 
attempts were made, but all in vain, and Generals Crau- 
ford and Carleton, who were in command, decided to 
retreat. Meanwhile a party of sixty grenadiers, who 
landed at a little distance from the rest, succeeded in 
climbing up beyond the entrenchments, and formed on 
the top. Could they have been supported all might 
have gone well, but unfortunately their success was not 
seen in time, and before anything could be done all but 
twenty were killed or taken prisoners. 

It was a gallant but unhappy beginning. Though the 
retirement had been well covered by the ships and bomb- 
vessels, the loss was about five hundred men. To make 
matters worse, as the troops were getting back to the 
fleet a severe gale blew up, lasting all night and all next 
day, and in the end half the flat-boats on which a land- 
ing depended were lost. Both commodore and general 
became seriously discouraged. At first Keppel, in an- 
nouncing the defeat to the Admiralty, had quietly 
informed them they were going to find a better place 

i64 BELLEISLE 1761 

and try again. But that proved not so easy. After 
careful reconnaissances they could find no spot which 
gave any hopes of success, and a few days later both 
of them wrote home to Pitt that they regarded it as 
quite impracticable to make good a landing.^ Seeing 
the situation Pitt was in at the moment, the repulse 
was a serious blow to his influence, but it does not seem 
that he lost heart for a moment. Instead of repining, 
he immediately ordered off four more battalions with a 
fresh supply of boats and military stores. So determined 
was he to succeed that, even at the risk of delaying the 
Martinique enterprise, he devoted to the Belleisle rein- 
forcements some of the transports preparing to go out 
to New York to carry Amherst's troops to the West 
Indies, and for their escort he called for five more ships 
of the line.^ 

He knew his men. With such a war-seasoned band 
as they were despair did not last long. A week later 
they were joined by a number of transports bringing on 
four troops of light dragoons which had not been ready 
to sail with the fleet. They at once decided to try again, 
since the new-comers would enable them to support a 
fresh attack with two feints instead of one. This was 
important, for the attempt was to be on a new plan, 
modelled apparently on Wolfe's great exploit. Both the 
commanders were still of opinion that all the ordinary 
landing-places were impregnable; but it was thought, 
says Keppel, " that by attempting a place where the 
mounting of the rocks was just possible," and where 
the enemy consequently had not thought of entrench- 

^ Keppel to Admiralty, April 13, In-letters, 91 ; Hodgson to Pitt, April 12 
and 18, and Keppel to same, April 18 — Albemarle's Life of Keppel, vol. i. 
pp. 306-310. 

* Pitt to Amherst, June 18 — Thackeray, vol. ii. p. 500. 


ing, they might succeed. Such a chance seemed to 
offer at a point just to the southward of Port Locmaria, 
where stood a small work called Fort d'Arsic. Here 
was to be the main attack, and Crauford, the second in 
command, was again entrusted with it. He was to be 
assisted by a feint, under Brigadier Hamilton Lambart, 
upon the little village of St. Foy, which stood on the 
opposite or northern side of Point Locmaria, the eastern 
extremity of the island.^ This demonstration was to be 
supported by Stanhope from the sea with three of the 
line and a "forty-four." At the same time the demon- 
stration against Sauzon to the northward was to be 
repeated by the newly-arrived dragoons, with two of the 
line and some frigates. 

By April 22nd all was ready. At daybreak the ships 
were in position and at work with the batteries, while 
the troops gathered at their stations. By three o'clock 
the enemy's guns, not without considerable damage to 
the ships, were silenced, and the attack began. Crau- 
ford made for Fort d'Arsic, where he found the enemy 
ready and in great strength to meet him. Lambart, 
however, reached the shore without a shot being fired, 
and finding himself unobserved, landed his force about 
half-way between St. Foy and Point Locmaria. There was 
not a soul to oppose him, but above his head towered 
cliffs that the French regarded as defence enough. Lam- 
bart was of a different opinion. He had been told he 
might push home his feint if he saw a fair chance, and 
he thought he did. It was a case of the Heights of 
Abraham over again, and he had at least one good pre- 
cedent to justify his daring. The grenadier company of 

* Keppel to Admiralty, April 23, In-letters, 91 ; Engineer Welsh's 




Survey^ Kinrj^s Drawings., Brit. Mus., ■— 

1 66 BELLEISLE 1761 

the 19th Foot led the way and succeeded in reaching 
the summit, still unobserved. A detachment of marines 
followed, and before the enemy, whose attention was 
absorbed in watching Crauford's column on the other 
side of the Point, could recover their surprise, more 
troops had joined the advanced parties. At last, from 
the height upon which the enemy were watching Crau- 
ford, they were attacked by half a battalion of regular 
infantry, but posting themselves behind a low wall, they 
held their ground with a steady fire till Lambart himself 
joined them with another grenadier company and the 
rest of the marines. He immediately ordered an ad- 
vance, attacked the enemy in flank, and forced them 
to retire under their guns at the top of the hill they 
had come from. Below Captain Stanhope had been 
eagerly watching the brilliant feat of arms from his 
ship, and the moment he saw the advance he sig- 
nalled for all his boats, manned and armed, to support 
Lambart's attack. The movement attracted Crauford's 
attention. With quick perception he saw what it 
meant, and promptly followed suit. Abandoning his 
own attack on Fort d'Arsic, he hurried back round Point 
Locmaria to his colleague's assistance. Thus, thanks 
to the quick appreciation of Stanhope and Crauford, 
Lambart soon found himself strong enough to press 
home his attack and supplant his opponents in their 
commanding position. By five o'clock the whole of the 
troops were landed, and before night Hodgson was 
securely posted with all his force on a height three miles 
in the interior. 

There, as they lay upon their arms all night, they saw a 
great beacon fire reddening the sky in the centre of the 
island. It was the signal of Monsieur de Sainte Croix, 
the gallant and capable officer to whom the defence of 


the island had been entrusted, for all the troops and 
inhabitants to concentrate on Palais. He had at his 
command three regfular battalions and one of militia, 
numbering probably at this time nearly three thousand 
men. The Due d'Aiguillon, at the first alarm, had arrived 
at Vannes, and was gathering a large force on the main- 
land. His intention was to throw in more troops, but 
the vigilance of the cruisers which Keppel had pushed for- 
ward put it out of the question. With a strength num- 
bering barely half what the British could land, it was 
useless for Sainte Croix to try to hold the whole island, 
but it was a force quite capable of a prolonged defence 
of the fortress. Hodgson quickly overran the island as 
the French retired, seized all the defenceless ports, and 
so soon as the weather permitted the necessary stores 
and material to be landed, he sat down to besiege Palais, 
securely covered by Keppel's fleet. 

The news of the British success came as a serious shock 
to Versailles. The exact extent to which it modified the 
French plans is as usual difficult to determine. By heroic 
exertions Choiseul was collecting a vast force of a hundred 
and twenty thousand men, which was to form two armies 
under Soubise and Broglie, and finally crush those of 
Ferdinand and the Hereditary Prince of Brunswick. Such 
numbers were of course overwhelming, and Ferdinand 
had been forced to retreat again out of Hesse, but not 
before he had destroyed all Soubise's advanced magazines. 
Such a loss must necessarily delay the opening of the 
campaign, and on the top of it came the news of Belleisle. 
According to our most trustworthy intelligencer the Court 
was very anxious about it. It was seen, he said, that 
once the island was entirely in British hands, it could be 
used as a iplace d'armes to alarm the whole coast from 
Brest to Bayonne. To increase the trouble there was 

1 68 BELLEISLE 1761 

serious discontent in Brittany, and it is said there was a 
proposal to recall at once thirty battalions from Germany.^ 
This was certainly not done. It seems, however, that it 
was found necessary to provide D'Aiguillon with twenty- 
two battalions and eight squadrons, and Pitt received 
from the Dutch ambassador at Paris intelligence " that 
the whole line of Soubise's corps was altered." That is 
to say, that the Normandy troops had to be moved into 
Brittany, those of Picardy into Normandy, those of 
Flanders into Picardy, and these, finally, had to be 
replaced from Soubise's active army. We also know that 
an inquiry was held as to why D'Aiguillon had too few 
troops to reinforce Sainte Croix while the sea was open, 
and the answer was that Choiseul, in order to swell Sou- 
bise's army, and in spite of the protest of the War Office, 
had recalled troops which Marshal Belleisle, while he was in 
office, had considered absolutely necessary for the defence 
of the coast. The one hope of relief now was to get a 
squadron to sea to engage Keppel's attention, and the 
result was that, instead of being able to devote all his 
resources to answer Pitt on land, Choiseul had to order 
the most strenuous efforts to be devoted to the ships at 
Brest and Rochefort." 

These last preparations Keppel soon detected for 
himself. He heard that seven of the line were being 
brought forward at Brest and eight at Rochefort, and the 
news was confirmed from home. The danger naturally 
caused him some anxiety, and drew from him a highly 
interesting expression of what he regarded as the correct 
strategy to meet the occasion. Assuming the two French 

1 Cressener's Intelligence, May 4, Newcastle Papers, 32,922. 

- Memorandum in Newcastle's hand, May 13, Newcastle Papers, 32,923 ; 
Cressener's Intelligence, May 16, and other Paris advices, May 22 and 24, 


divisions were under orders to combine against him, he 
said he intended to keep practically his whole force con- 
centrated at Belleisle; but as soon as the expected re- 
inforcement which Pitt had ordered arrived, he would 
send a squadron to Rochefort to stop that division 
mobilising. He could not, however, conceal his appre- 
hension that the French ships might get to sea before 
he could blockade their ports effectually. " Indeed," he 
added, " the confining them at Brest is so very precarious 
that it cannot be depended upon, and therefore I should 
imagine Captain Buckle and his ships being called here 
would answer the purpose better than his remaining 
there — unless ships could be spared to make him as 
strong as the Brest ships, while the King's squadron, 
[meaning his own], after despatching one to Rochefort, 
remains equal to both the enemy's squadrons at Brest 
and Rochefort." He concluded by saying he was going 
to order Buckle to fall back on him if the French came 
out and were superior.^ 

The principle that was guiding him was practically 
that on which Pitt had been acting all along. Where a 
military force was engaged in coastal operations from a 
sea base, it was not a just risk to trust to the blockade 
of the enemy's fleets at their points of departure. The 
covering fleet itself ought to be equal to them, or so dis- 
posed as to ensure concentrated equality with any con- 
centration which the enemy might be in a position to 
make at the point of operation. 

On this principle therefore he acted till, at the end of 
May, his reinforcements began to arrive. Six of the line 
joined him by April 31st, and he at once detached 
Stanhope with a division of six, besides fireships and 
bombs, to prevent the Rochefort ships getting out into 

* Keppel to Admiralty, May 21, In-lelters, 91. 


the Basque Roads, and also to keep his eye on Bordeaux. 
During the next week two more ships of the line joined 
him, and he thereupon sent away to Ushant five to 
bring Buckle's blockading force superior to that which 
was said to be in Brest. Though only a captain, Keppel 
now had some twenty of the line and as many cruisers 
under his broad pendant, so that, with eight left for 
himself, he was able to enjoy the disposition he wanted. 
With the landing of the fresh regiments, which arrived 
simultaneously with the ships, the position of Sainte Croix 
was therefore hopeless. The wall of Palais was breached ; 
relief was impossible; and the gallant French soldier 
knew it as well as any one. Accordingly, on June 8th, 
he capitulated, being allowed, as he richly deserved, to 
march out through the breach with all the honours of 
war, and was conveyed to L'Orient with all that was left 
of his force. 



The great news reached London on June 13, and the 
country was once more ablaze with bonfires and illumi- 
nations as in the intoxicating days of 1759. The effect, 
of course, was greatly to increase the strength of Pitt's 
attitude on the terms of peace ; and he certainly needed 
all the support he could get. Things had been moving 
fast. Not only were the negotiations for the separate 
peace between France and England proceeding apace 
both in Paris and London, but all the Powers had 
accepted the proposal for a general Congress, and pleni- 
potentiaries had already been named. Lord Bute had 
replaced Holderness as Secretary of State for the 
Northern department, and thus had the continental 
war and its diplomacy in his hands. At present, it was 
true, be showed a strong inclination to act with Pitt, 
but at any time his own instability and Pitt's domineer- 
ing might shift him to the opposite camp. There the 
peace forces were closing up, and had received a powerful 
addition in the person of the Duke of Bedford. He had 
recently resigned the Lord-Lieutenancy of Ireland, and 
was attending the Cabinet, where he quickly earned the 
reputation of being the only man bold enough to face 

Nor was it only in the dignity and power of its 
members that the peace party was strong. The argu- 
ments by which they supported their views were states- 


1/2 THE FALL OF PITT 1761 

manlike and widely convincing. By no one were the}"^ 
so cogently put as by Bedford, and from the mouth of 
no one did they come with greater weight, for his 
unwilling admiration for Pitt was evident to all. Though 
he has not lived in history as a statesman of mark, his 
utterances at this time are instinct with a political 
wisdom and insight that, whether his own or not, are 
little short of prophetic. What troubled him most was 
not the continental war, though that he believed to be 
beyond the resources of the country, both in treasure 
and manhood. His firmest opposition was to Pitt's 
determination to crush the French sea power out of 
existence by refusing them the right of fishery in New- 
foundland and the St. Lawrence Gulf. To exclude 
France from the fisheries, Bedford argued in a letter to 
Newcastle, would give umbrage to Spain and the other 
maritime powers; for it would be a great step to the 
monopoly of a trade which was the source of all mari- 
time power, " and which," as he said, " would be as 
dangerous for us to grasp at as it was for Louis XIV. 
when he aspired to be the arbiter of Europe, and might 
be likely to produce a grand alliance against us." France 
would never acquiesce for long in a peace concluded upon 
such terms, and to make a peace that could not last was 
emphatically bad policy. 

Nothing could shake his well-reasoned convictions. 
They grew stronger as time went on. " Indeed, my lord," 
he wrote to Bute two months later, " the endeavouring to 
drive France entirely out of any naval power is fighting 
against nature, and can tend to no one good to this 
country ; but, on the contrary, must excite all the naval 
powers of Europe to enter into a confederacy against us, 
as adopting a system, viz., that of a monopoly of all 
naval power, which would be at least as dangerous to 


the liberties of Europe as that of Louis XIV. was, which 
drew almost all Europe upon his back." It was all the 
modern doctrine, so firmly insisted on by Clausewitz and 
so seldom recalled by our " idolaters of Neptune," that 
measures, however plausible, which tend to raise up 
fresh enemies do not increase the strength of our inter- 
national position. So strongly did Bedford feel this 
truth that he even doubted the policy of excluding 
France from Canada. He dreaded our overloading our- 
selves with colonial possessions, as Spain had done to 
her ruin, but that was not the darkest outlook. " In- 
deed, my lord," he wrote to Newcastle, " I don't know 
whether the neighbourhood of the French to our North 
American colonies was not the greatest security for their 
dependence on the mother country, which I feel will be 
slighted by them when their apprehension of the French 
is removed." How prophetic were both warnings we 
know. Both were destined to be fulfilled to the letter 
ere twenty years were gone.^ 

Such arguments as these could not but have weight. 
Indeed even for us to-day they would go far to condemn 
Pitt's attitude did we not know how strong and well 
founded was his conviction that the coalition which 
Bedford feared was already on foot. Too much had 
been done already to let Spain rest. Even Bedford 
grew doubtful whether France was in earnest for peace. 
The complaisance with which Choiseul accepted the basis 
of uti possidetis and the seizure of Belleisle, made him 
question whether she was not merely seeking to gain 
time in order to recover breath for a now and more 
dangerous war.'^ 

' Bedford to Newcastle, May 9, Newcastle Papers, 32,922 ; same to Bute, 
July 9, Bedford Corr., vol. iii. p. 24. 

'^ Bedford to Bute, June 13, Bedford Corr., vol. iii. p. 14. 

174 THE FALL OF PITT 1761 

Choiseul's proposals about the " compensations " had 
come. He suggested the return of Guadeloupe, Marie- 
galante, and Goree in exchange for Minorca; was ready 
to cede all Canada except Cape Breton, which, however, 
was not to be fortified by France, but merely used as a 
fishing station ; and in return for the retention of the 
fishing rights she would give up all her conquests upon 
England's allies in Germany. 

The dominant note of France, it will be observed, was 
the preservation of her sea power, and as the negotiations 
progressed it became more and more evident that it was 
upon this question they would turn. From this point of 
view Choiseul's proposal was very unsatisfactory, for it said 
nothing about the fate of Dunkirk, Ostend, and Nieuport. 
Still Pitt expressed himself ready to treat on this basis, 
and two Cabinets were held to discuss the answer. 
Under the pressure of the peace party he somewhat 
relaxed his attitude. The majority of the Ministers 
were clearly against insisting on the exclusive right of 
fishery, and Lord Granville, the President, with all the 
weight of his great reputation, strongly indorsed Bedford's 
arguments on the impolicy of doing so. He was for 
reviving the terms of the treaty of Utrecht both as to 
the Newfoundland fisheries and the fortification of 
Dunkirk. Pitt, in reply, drew attention to the obscurity 
and duplicity of Choiseul's note, as pointing to the 
insincerity of France. For himself he said he would 
rather risk another campaign than give way on the 
fishery question at all, but if the rest thought otherwise 
he would acquiesce. Bute was urgent for a shifty com- 
promise by which we were " to make trial," that is, we 
were still to demand the exclusive fishery and give way 
if France stood firm. Pitt, much to Bute's annoyance, 
ridiculed the idea, and tried to persuade the King it was 


useless to " make trial " unless we meant what we said. 
Eventually it was left to Pitt to answer Choiseul, and 
his draft was to be settled in the Cabinet next day. 
After a renewed and somewhat heated discussion on 
Bute's compromise, Pitt's view was finally accepted in a 
modified form — that the fisheries " could not be given up 
except for some substantial compensation." ^ 

So the words stand in the despatch which Pitt sent to 
Stanley in Paris, with the significant addition that the 
question of the " substantial compensation " could be 
discussed with that of Dunkirk. For the rest Stanley 
was to say the British court regarded Belleisle as an 
equivalent compensation for Minorca, and that if we 
ceded Guadeloupe and Mariegalante as well, France 
must immediately vacate all her conquests in Germany. 
As the minimum on which the King's intentions were 
" fixed and unalterable," he was to stipulate for all Canada 
and Cape Breton unequivocally : Senegal : Dunkirk to be 
unfortified on the footing of the treaty of Utrecht : the 
Neutral Islands in the West Indies to be evacuated, and 
Minorca restored. Finally he was to give Choiseul to 
understand, as delicately as might be, "that the most 
indispensable interests of Great Britain can never allow 
his Majesty to acquiesce in any views of acquisition 
which it has sometimes been surmised France might 
entertain with regard to Ostend and Nieuport." ^ In 
other words, the maintenance of the British naval position 
in the Narrow Seas as well as in the Mediterranean and 
America, was made a sine qua non of the continuance of 
the French sea power. It was on the question of 
Dunkirk and the Flemish ports that most difficulty was 

1 For what passed at these two meetings, i.e. June 24 and 26, see 
Newcastle to Devonshire, June 28, Newcastle Papers, 32,924. 
* Pitt to Stanley, June 26, Thackeray, vol. i. p. 549. 

1/6 THE FALL OF PITT 1761 

expected, yet every one, even Bedford, felt this condition 
must be insisted on. " I have never myself," he said, 
" been much in apprehension of invasion of England 
. . . but, however, for the satisfaction of the nation, 
too great security cannot be taken to guard against 
any future alarms." ^ 

Having clearly presented the British claims, Pitt took 
care not to relax for a moment the pressure necessary to 
force them home. The preparations for Martinique were 
pushed on without disguise, and Keppel was told to 
attempt some place on the French coast within striking 
distance of Belleisle. 

Captain Stanhope, in pursuance of the commodore's 
directions to prevent the mobilisation of the Rochefort 
division, was already destroying for the third time the 
works on the Island of Aix, in spite of the French bomb 
vessels ; but Keppel felt doubtful about the possibility of 
a descent on the mainland. L'Orient and Port Louis 
were tempting, he said, " but everywhere, as far down as 
Bordeaux, the alarm has caused a formidable concentra- 
tion of troops."^ This was of course well, so far as it 
went. It was part of Pitt's object, as before, so he 
assured Newcastle, to draw troops away from Westphalia, 
where the campaign was opening in form.^ 

The effect, however, in this direction seems to have 
been small. According to our intelligence a few regi- 
ments were moved down from Soubise's army, but the 
bulk of the coastal defence force came from the central 
provinces and from Languedoc and Provence. By these 
means Choiseul considered he rendered the coast safe, 

^ Bedford to Bute, July 9, and Bute's answer, July 12, Bedford Corr. 
vol. iii. p. 23 et scq. 

2 Keppel to Pitt, July 10, Newcastle Papers, 32,925. 
' Newcastle to Devonshire, June 18, ibid., 32,924. 


and vowed that no landing in Oleron, Rh6, or any of the 
neighbouring French islands should induce him to recall 
a single man from Germany. He was even prepared to 
risk the Martinique expedition striking in Normandy 
rather than weaken Soubise's push for Hanover.^ Still 
the pressure by the blockade alone was severe, and to 
add to it came the news that in the East Indies Pondi- 
cherry had fallen, and that in the West Douglas, with 
a force from New York under Lord RoUo, had seized 

Once more Amherst had shown his brilliant powers of 
organisation, Pitt's idea, it will be remembered, was to 
seize the islands of Dominica and St. Lucia before the 
hurricane season came on, so as to leave all clear for 
Martinique in the autumn. For this it was necessary 
that the expeditionary force should be on the spot by the 
end of May at latest. It was not, however, till January 
that he despatched the order, and he did not disguise 
from himself that it was only by a lucky passage of his 
despatch vessel and of the reinforcements that were 
necessary that the thing could be managed, and then only 
if Amherst had suflScient troops in a state of immediate 
mobility. Yet it was done. On June 4th, only a week 
or so late, Lord Rollo, with three of the line and as many 
frigates from the North American squadron, met Douglas 
at Guadeloupe, the appointed rendezvous. His military 
force was four battalions from Amherst's army, besides 
rangers and artillery, and not a moment was lost. Two 
days later they were before Roseau, which the French 
had made the capital of Dominica, and next day, though 
the inhabitants made a plucky attempt at resistance, it 
was seized by a coup de main. 

The capture was one of naval value. Being a neutral 

1 "French Intelligence," July 2 and 3, ibid., and July 14, ibid., 32,926. 

178 THE FALL OF PITT 1761 

island under the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, and only 
recently occupied by the French, it was not intrinsically 
rich, but in Prince Rupert's Bay it could boast an un- 
rivalled roadstead admirably placed. It had, moreover, 
become a paradise for French privateers, and failing St. 
Lucia, which it was then too late to attempt, no island 
afforded a better strategical position, if war in the West 
Indies was to be renewed with Spain and France. This 
was all beside its political value at the moment — a value 
which Douglas was " minister " enough to understand. 
So soon as it was in his hands he sent a vessel home with 
the neAvs, apologising that as they had heard many reports 
of a congress he thought it best to let the government 
know as soon as possible of their " little acquisition," as 
he called it.^ 

An extension of the war grew every day more certain, 
at least in Pitt's eyes, and the prospect of having to deal 
with Spain as well as France became more and more the 
dominant note of his war plan. Already, before the blow 
at Dominica had been struck, he had elaborated a scheme 
for pushing the operations in that quarter still further, 
and instructions had gone out to Amherst to have another 
large force ready by the time the hurricane season was 
over to go down to Barbadoes in order to take part in a 
great concentration against Martinique and all that the 
French had left in the West Indies. This order, as we 
shall see, was only part of his great scheme to render the 
intervention of Spain impotent when it came. 

As the weeks went by the outlook at home served 
only to mark the wisdom of the precautions he was taking 
and the necessity for energetic action. By the third 
week in July no answer had come from Choiseul, and the 

^ Douglas to Admiralty, June 13, Admiralty Secretary, In-leliers, 307. 
See also same to same, June 3 (with enclosures), ibid. 


news from Westphalia was that Soubise and Broglie were 
actively engaged in a great combined movement to drive 
Ferdinand from the position he had taken up to cover 
Hanover on the line of the Lippe. As the two French 
armies amounted to nearly double that of Ferdinand the 
situation looked very ugly. Pitt's impatience and dis- 
trust of Choiseul increased every day, and so far infected 
his colleaofues that it was decided to call a Cabinet on 
July 21st to consider his suspicious procrastination. 
Every one felt something must be done and done 
quickly, " the affected slowness in the negotiations on 
the part of Franco," as Pitt said, " combined with the 
vivacity of her operations in the field . . . being too 
dangerous to the sum of affairs, and too interesting to his 
Majesty's honour, to be longer acquiesced in." ^ 

It was while the atmosphere was thus highly charged 
that Choiseul's answer at last arrived. It reached London 
on July 20th, just in time to be considered by the Cabinet 
on the morrow. The new Memorial appeared to be a frank 
endeavour to meet the English views, Choiseul was ready 
to give up Minorca in exchange for Guadeloupe and Marie- 
galante ; to evacuate the French conquests in Germany in 
return for Belleisle ; to consent to the British occupation 
of the neutral island of Tobago if France might retain 
St. Lucia ; to permit to England the choice between Goree 
and Senegal ; to settle the relations of the two East India 
Companies on the basis of the stains quo ante helium ; and 
to refer the question of the prizes taken before the declara- 
tion of war to the British Court of Admiralty; but he 
resolutely insisted on the fisheries and the retention of 
Cape Breton for a fishing station as the price of guarantee- 
ing to England the conquest of Canada, As to Frederick, 
France would withdraw all her auxiliaries from Austria if 
* Pitt to Stanley, July 25. — Thackeray, vol. ii. p. 554. 

i8o THE FALL OF PITT 1761 

England withdrew the German forces in her pay from 
Prussia. She offered also as the British forces were re- 
called from Westphalia to recall double the number of 
her own. 

So far there was a distinct advance towards an agree- 
ment, and had there been no more there was little reason 
why an equitable arrangement should not have been 
reached. But unfortunately the counter-proposals Avere 
accompanied by a " Private Memorial " which was as 
soothing as the explosion of a mine. It was nothing less 
than a bare-faced proposal that Spain should be invited 
to guarantee the treaty. The Memorial stated that the 
Spanish Court had communicated to Versailles its three 
points of dispute with England, viz. the restitution of 
Spanish ships captured during the war ; the right to fish 
on the banks of Newfoundland ; and the demolition of 
the British log-cutting settlements in Honduras. Worse 
still, it was declared that France regarded the settle- 
ment of these differences with Spain as essential to 
the conclusion of a lasting peace with herself. Alone 
this was objectionable enough. It was sufficient to open 
the eyes of the most sceptical to the game France and 
Spain were playing; and by a nation elated and con- 
fident with successful war it could only be regarded as 
an insolent threat. But to make matters still worse and 
leave no room for doubt, Stanley informed Pitt that it 
was only with difficulty he had persuaded Choiseul to 
relegate the Spanish claims to a separate document, and 
not to incorporate them in the articles proposed for the 
treaty of peace. Personally, he did not think that 
France, having given up Canada, would be in a hurry 
to go to war about logwood, and he had told Choiseul 
plainly we were not to be frightened by Spain. This 
hopeful opinion, however, he modified by a later dis- 


CO very that he had made. It was that France and 
Spain had come to an agreement as to joint action before 
ever the present negotiations had begun, and that Spain 
had offered to exchange Puerto Rico for Minorca.^ 

At the same time, to add fuel to the fire, Bussy, the diplo- 
matic agent whom Choiseul had sent to London, presented 
a note on the subject of Prussia. It was to the effect 
that since the presentation of her first proposals, France 
had received Austria's consent to the principle of a separate 
peace, but on two conditions. One was that the Empress- 
Queen should keep possession of all the Prussian territory 
which her armies occupied, and the other that England 
should cease to support Frederick either with her own 
troops or those of Hanover and the subsidised allies. 
France on her part was to withdraw her succour from 
Austria. Bussy intimated that France had acquiesced 
in these " natural and equitable " conditions, and that 
she expected that England would do the same. In Pitt's 
eyes it was no better than a shameless invitation for 
England to break her solemn word to Frederick, and to 
the high sense of honour which was one of his most 
marked characteristics it was insolent beyond endurance.^ 

So on the morrow, in hot blood, the new counter- 
proposals were considered by the Cabinet, and with one 
voice condenmed as insulting and inadmissible. Pitt, 
indeed, appears to have had things entirely his own way, 
and was permitted to frame an answer in his highest and 
most dictatorial tone. Bussy received it face to face, 
and that there might be no mistake he had it repeated 
in a note next day. " It is my duty," wrote Pitt, " to 
declare farther to you in plain terms, in the name of his 

^ Stanley to Pitt, July 14, Newcastle Papers, 32,925. See also under 
July 20, ibid. 

^ Thackeray, vol. ii. p. 553. 

1 82 THE FALL OF PITT 1761 

Majesty, that he will not suffer the disputes of Spain to 
be blended in any manner whatsoever in the negotiations 
between the two crowns. . . . Moreover, it is expected 
that France Avill not at any time presume a right of 
intermeddling in such disputes between Great Britain 
and Spain. ... I likewise return to you, sir, as totally 
inadmissible, the Memorial relative to the King of Prussia, 
as implying an attempt upon the honour of Great Britain." 
Nothing could well be stronger ; and to Stanley Pitt's in- 
structions were equally forcible. To add to the heat of his 
spirit news had just come in of the fall of Pondicherry and 
the capture of Dominica. Two days later, on July 22nd, 
came tidings of even greater moment. Ferdinand, beyond 
all hope, had soundly defeated Broglie in his first attempt 
to strike. The general elation was scarcely less than 
after Minden. " All is triumph. All is joy," wrote 
Pitt.^ And no wonder. The victory had been as un- 
expected as Minden, and again it had been won mainly 
by the British troops. Gran by, indeed, had directed the 
action, and, as Ferdinand handsomely stated, he had only 
arrived on the field to be an ordinary spectator of his 
lieutenant's admirable dispositions. The result of the 
victory was entirely to upset the combination of the two 
French armies, and to give great hopes that Ferdinand 
would be able to hold his position on the line of the Lippe. 
The effect upon the whole balance of the war Pitt was 
careful to point out to Stanley, and the despatch was 
further seasoned with the information that the transports 
which were to go out to America to fetch Amherst's 
contingent for the Martinique expedition had received 
their sailing orders. He also told him that in the opinion 

1 GrenvUlc Papers, vol. i. p. 377, July 22. See also Jenkinson to Gren- 
ville, July 21, ibid, p. 376; and Newcastle Papers, 32,925, July 20 and 
July 22 (Hardwicke to Newcastle). 


of the British governDient France had now left no room 
for doubt that her whole object from the beginning had 
been merely to gam time to push her operations in 
Germany, and that as for the French engagements with 
Spain, the British government regarded them " to have 
been as disingenuously suppressed as they were now in 
the moment insolently produced." " In this view, there- 
fore," he wrote, " and in consequence of the unanimous 
opinion of the second council held yesterday, his Majesty 
has commanded me to send you the enclosed paper 
containing conditions of peace ... to serve as an answer 
to the French Memorial of the 13 th, and as the ultimatum 
on the part of Great Britain." Further, Stanley was " to 
express without asperity, but with all firmness, a desire 
for a categorical answer," intimatin^r at the same time, 
with politeness and regret, " that otherwise your stay in 
Paris cannot probably be long." ^ The enclosed paper 
which Stanley was to present as an ultimatum was a 
counter-proposal which amounted practically to falling 
back to the original terms suggested by the British 
government in the spring, though Stanley was instructed 
that he might give way a little about Dunkirk and the 
west coast of Africa. 

The justification of Pitt's high attitude comes from 
Choiseul's own pen. About lour years later, when all 
Avas over, he drew up a long memoir for the King in 
defence of his policy. As seen and presented by him at 
that time his conduct of affairs, no doubt, possessed an 
artistic roundness which it may have lacked in reality, 
but still there is little doubt the memoir represented 
fairly well what his aims had been." From the moment 

1 Pitt to Stanley, July 25. — Thackeray, vol. ii. p. 554. 

2 '< Mc'moire pr^seutii h Louis XV.," Feb. 1765, Soulange-Bodin, La 
diplomatic dc Louis XV, et le I'acte de PamiUe. — Piices Juatificatives, B. 

1 84 THE FALL OF PITT 1761 

that, at the end of 1758, he had superseded Bernis at the 
Foreign Office, he had set himself to bring the maritime 
war to an end. The increased power of England upon 
the seas he believed he could balance in Europe by 
getting for France the Flemish ports, and above all by 
placing her at the head of a Bourbon confederation which 
would include Spain, Sicily, and the Duchy of Parma. 
In 1759, when Charles was about to proceed to Spain, he 
had nearly succeeded in arranging an interview at Lyons 
between him and Louis, but the influence of the Spanish 
queen Maria Amelia brought it to nothing. In Novem- 
ber 1760 he tried again — this time going so far as to 
propose a naval coaUtion against the domination of 
England which Holland was to be forced to join. But 
under the same restraining influence Charles replied that 
his fleet was not as yet in a condition to make such a 
thmg possible.^ 

Early in the next year, however, when Choiseul was 
appointed War Minister, and the Spanish queen died, he 
thought he saw in the proposal for a Congress a better 
opportunity. Persuading his master that England was 
not in earnest for a general peace, he obtained permission 
to attempt once more some arrangement with Spain. It 
was at this time that the old Spanish ambassador was 
recalled and Grimaldi put in his place. Choiseul's plan 
was, while the general negotiations for the Congress pro- 
ceeded, to enter into separate negotiations with England. 
To this course, he boasts with pardonable pride, he ob- 
tained the consent of Austria and the other allies of 
France in spite of their suspicions. There was certainly 
room enough for suspicion. He further says he knew Pitt's 
character too well to expect success with him, but that 
in his second interview with Stanley he became convinced 

^ Bourguet, Lc Due de Choiseul et ['alliance Eapagnol. 


that Pitt's position was growing precarious, and that Bute 
and a strong party in England were eager to end the war 
in order to destroy his dictatorship.^ " I then," he says, 
" proposed to your Majesty two games to play together : 
one to keep up the negotiation with England in such a 
way that if it did not succeed this time it would serve 
from its simplicity as a base for the genuine negotiation 
which must take place if .Pitt fell before the influence of 
Bute, At the same time — and this was the second game 
which I thought essential — I entered into an exchange of 
views with Spain, so devised that if we were to make 
peace that crown would find it to its interest to support 
us in the negotiation, and guarantee the stability of the 
treaty. If, on the contrary, we failed in this, my plan 
was that Spain should be drawn into the war, and that 
France would be able to profit by the events which this 
new complication might produce and repair her losses. 
Finally, if the event proved unfortunate, I had in view 
that the losses of Spain would lighten those which France 
might suffer." A policy so Machiavellian, so astutely 
selfish, compels a certain admiration, but it certainly 
justifies Pitt's passionate instinct that it deserved nothing 
but swift violence. 

Choiseul's path had not been easy. To begin with, the 
readiness with which Grimaldi seized the first opening to 
propose an offensive alliance against England frightened 
him.'"^ It looked like a snare, and he believed the am- 
bassador was ahead of his court. This was true, but 
Grimaldi's arguments and dexterity soon brought Charles 
up to the point of a defensive alliance, though he still 

' This is one of Choiseul's artistic touches. He proposed the treaty on 
May 12 (Bourguet, p. 207), before Stanley had started for Paris. The first 
interview did not take place till June 7. See Stanley to Pitt, June 12, 
Thackeray, vol. i. p. 514. 

* Feb. 15, Bourguet, p. 188. 

1 86 THE FALL OF PITT 1761 

hesitated about making it offensive. Gradually, however, 
the suspicions on both sides were reduced. In May, just 
as Choiseul's arrangements for negotiating a separate 
peace with England were completed, Charles authorised 
Grimaldi definitely to propose a general treaty of alliance 
between France and Spain. Choiseul considered it was 
now safe to proceed, and forwarded to the Spanish court 
a counter-proposal. His suggestion was that two treaties 
should be made. One, which he proposed to call the 
Facte de Famille, was to be a general and intimate alliance, 
amounting almost to a confederation, between the two 
courts, and having no relation to any other Power. The 
other would regulate their relations with the rest of 
Europe. The project was not well received. Wall con- 
sidered the very title " Family Compact " would alarm 
Europe, and for Charles in his warlike mood it did not 
go far enough. Grimaldi, on his part, particularly ob- 
jected that it avoided the main object in view, which 
was the concert of the naval forces of the two Powers. 
Choiseul could wish for nothing better. By this time it 
had become pretty clear to his mind that the mere threat 
of Spanish intervention was going to have little or no 
effect in England; and seeing it was safe to take yet another 
step, he proposed on June 2nd that the Family Compact 
should be supplemented by a Special Convention to meet 
the actual situation. His suggestion was that Spain 
should undertake to declare war on England on May 1, 
17G2, if by that time peace had not been concluded, and 
on this condition France was ready to include the settle- 
ment of the Spanish grievances in the separate negotia- 
tion that she was carrying on with England. It was, in 
fact, a proposal for a complete offensive and defensive 
alliance. Grimaldi sprang at the idea, and was for sign- 
ing on the spot. But Choiseul held back. The fact was 


he had made up his mind not to commit himself until 
the result of the existing negotiation with London was 
known. So he told Grimaldi that he felt it would be 
improper for them to proceed further till the matter 
had been referred to Madrid and the King's consent 

With the Family Compact as drafted by Choiseul the 
Spanish Court was delighted. Wall himself approved, 
or apparently approved, and knowing what to expect 
from Pitt if the secret leaked out, forthwith set about 
strengthening all the old scarred places on the coasts. 
By the end of June the matter was regarded by the 
Spanish court as settled, though some mmor points were 
deemed to require adjustment. 

With the " Special Convention," however, things were 
not so smooth. Wall penetrated Choiseul's game far 
enough to suspect that if, under the threat of Spanish 
intervention, France could get a favourable enough peace 
with England, she would certainly leave Spain and her 
grievances in the lurch. Choiseul's attitude was clearly 
wavering with the changing aspect of his negotiation with 
London. Charles himself began to grow suspicious again, 
and to bring matters to a head offered to send Grimaldi 
authority to sign the Family Compact at once. Wall, 
however, found it easy enough to suggest difficulties over 
the points that were still unsettled. He particularly 
called attention to the free hand with which France was 
dividing the West Indies with England without consult- 
ing Spain. Spanish feathers were on end in a moment : 
the position grew strained, and oddly enough it was 
intensified by what was regarded as the half-hearted 
and equivocal way in which Bussy had presented the 
Spanish claims to Pitt. 

Such was the state of affairs when the British ulti- 

1 88 THE FALL OF PITT 1761 

matum reached Paris, and with it Bussy's account of 
the haughty manner in which his note on the Spanish 
claims had been thrown back in his face. The effect 
was immediate. Scarcely a hope of peace remained, 
and Choiseul had to choose between the chance of Pitt's 
fall and the nearer prospect of losing Spain. There was 
indeed no room for hesitation, and he forthwith sent 
word to Madrid that Louis regarded the two treaties 
as signed, and was sure that Charles must be feeling 
as deeply wounded as himself at the insult of the 
British minister. In Spain the message was received 
in the same spirit that it was sent. By Pitt's instruc- 
tions, Lord Bristol had just submitted Bussy's offensive 
memorial to Wall, and asked whether it was authorised 
by the Court of Spain. On its being acknowledged, his 
orders were to remonstrate on the unexampled irregu- 
larity of the proceeding, and, as it could only be regarded 
as " a declaration of war in reversion," he was to demand 
an explanation of the warlike preparations that were 
being made in the Spanish arsenals.^ The effect of 
Bristol's action was naturally to increase Charles's delight 
at the communication from Paris. The only trouble 
was he was not yet ready for war. Choiseul had told 
him that it would be necessary for Spain to hasten her 
declaration. But Charles had to reply that he could 
not possibly commence hostilities till the Jiota, or Plate 
Fleet, came home from Havana, and he did not expect 
it till October. Every other point was rapidly agreed 
upon, and on 1.5 th August both the Family Compact and 
the Special Convention were signed. 

The Special Convention is what chiefly concerns us 
here. It was a military agreement by which a complete 
and unreserved offensive and defensive alliance was 

' Pitt to Bristol, July 28. —Thackeray, vol. i. p. 572. 


formed between the two crowns for the period of the 
war ; all plans were to be concerted, and no peace or 
truce was to be made without mutual consent. May 1st 
still stood as the date for the arrangement to come into 
operation. Louis engaged on that day to hand over 
Minorca to Charles. It was to be occupied during the 
war by a Spanish garrison, and if the arms of the 
two kings were successful, France was to use every 
effort to assure its cession to the Spanish crown at the 
peace. Then came a highly important article to the 
effect that Portugal was to be invited to become a party 
to the Convention, in order to close her ports and trade 
to the British, and it was understood that if she refused 
she was to be treated as a common enemy and an ally 
of England. Other maritime states that might wish 
to join the coalition should be permitted to do so ; and, 
finally, if Spain were driven to begin the war before 
May 1st, the treaty was to come into force from the 
moment she commenced hostilities. 

All these details were, of course, kept secret from 
England, but it was impossible to conceal entirely the 
fact that an arrangement of some kind had been come 
to between the two Bourbon Powers. Pitt, however, 
seems still to have regarded the rapjorochement as a mere 
attempt to intimidate him into easier terms. In view 
of the four great successes he had just won — at Belle- 
isle, at Dominica, at Pondicherry, and in Westphalia- — he 
believed that a firm attitude was all that was required 
to force France to give way, and that the resolute answer 
to Choiseul's memorandum, which had been sent on 
27th July, would be accepted at Versailles.^ 

He was quickly undeceived. On August nth Bussy 
handed him what was called an ultimatum in reply to 

* Jenkinson to Grenville, July 28, GrenvUle Papers, vol.Ji. p. .'J80. 

190 THE FALL OF PITT 1761 

his own. It was, in fact, a defiant reply to the British 
ultimatum. Though most of Pitt's points were accepted, 
all the important ones were refused. France still insisted 
on her right to fish in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, as well 
as on the Newfoundland banks, and to have a fishing 
station reserved to her. She refused to exchange 
Belleisle for Minorca, as was only natural, since Minorca 
was promised to Spain ; she went back on her under- 
taking to evacuate her conquests in Westphalia; gave 
no undertaking about Nieuport and Ostend, and finally 
revived more strongly than ever her demand for the 
restitution of the prizes taken by England before the 
declaration of war. At the same time a note, actually 
drawn up by Choiseul, was presented by Bussy in his own 
name resenting the tone of Pitt's last communication, 
and requesting an interview to discuss the new French 
proposal. Instead of granting it, Pitt laid the whole 
matter before the Cabinet. 

Whatever doubts he may have entertained hitherto 
as to what was before him, he was now certain that 
France did not intend to make peace, and that war 
with Spain was inevitable. He had received from 
Stanley a despatch in which he said the whole tone 
at the French court had altered. The anxious air 
which till then he had noted in Grimaldi, as well as 
in the Austrian ambassador, had changed for one of 
exultation. He could not but see they had gained the 
upper hand of him, and that unless some unforeseen 
circumstance occurred he entirely despaired of accom- 
plishing his Majesty's wishes for peace.^ He had come 
to be convinced that the kernel of the situation was 
resistance to the maritime domination of England, and 
that the fishery difficulty Avas insuperable. Choiseul 

^ Stanley to Pitt, Aug. 6. — Thackeray, vol. ii. p. 571. 


vowed he dared not give way. He would be stoned, 
he said, in the streets of Paris if he did, and all Stanley 
could suggest to Pitt was that, in hopes of arousing in 
the starving and exhausted French provinces a popular 
demonstration in favour of peace, he should be recalled 
and Bussy dismissed. 

This letter, together with the French ultimatum and 
notes, Pitt laid before the Cabinet on August 13 th. 
The peace party was for making one more effort. 
Pitt was as determined to break off the negfotiations — 
to refuse even to discuss the ultimatum with Bussy. 
With Bedford at, their head his opponents Avere able to 
make some impression. He was forced from his irrecon- 
cilable attitude about the fisheries, so far as to agree to 
test the sincerity of Choiseul by offering a port of refuge 
or abri on the Newfoundland coast. The little island of 
St. Pierre was suggested. So far, but no further, would 
Pitt go. On the morrow they met again to settle his 
draft answer to Choiseul. It was found to be drawn 
in a highly peremptory tone, and the peace party freely 
criticised its phrasing as objectionable and irritating. 
Pitt, having given up his darling point of excluding 
France from the Gulf of St. Lawrence altogether, and 
denying her an abri anywhere, was in no mood to bear 
criticism, and another scene occurred. To every amend- 
ment that was suggested, Pitt objected in his most 
overbearing manner. Not a word Avould he have altered. 
He would permit no one, he cried fiercely, to cobble his 
work, and the sitting ended in heat with a sullen acquies- 
cence that the despatch should go as it stood. Both 
meetings lasted for hours. " Very stormy they were," 
wrote Hardwicke to his eldest son, " but we rid out 
the tempest. . . . After much altercation and some 
thumps of the list on the table, it was at last carried 

192 THE FALL OF PITT 1761 

(on my motion), that the conference should be had, but 
not without an answer to Bussy's letter."^ 

So far Pitt had his way, but it had been too fierce a 
struggle not to leave deep scars. The Duke of Bedford 
announced that he would not attend another Cabinet, and 
kept his word. Pitt's imperious manner of doing busi- 
ness was beyond bearing. Devonshire said as much, and 
Newcastle went so far in the same direction as his 
constitutional irresolution would let him. Could they 
have known the truth it might have been different. 
For on that very day, as we know, while Pitt, in his 
passion to make them see, was banging the table in their 
faces, Choiseul and Grimaldi at Versailles were quietly 
signing the two secret treaties. 

Still the question was far from settled. There remained 
the instructions that were to be sent to Stanley with the 
new British ultimatum. Council after council was held, 
the Duke of Bedford stubbornly refusing to attend even 
at the King's urgent entreaty. The point was that the 
offer of the island of St. Pierre was to be regarded as 
a final test of France's sincerity, and Stanley had to be 
informed as to how far he was to go in meeting any 
alternative suggestions which Choiseul might offer. Pitt 
himself was against ofii'ering even St. Pierre. He said he 
was clearly against leaving any fishery rights to France 
except those allowed her on the Newfoundland banks by 
the Treaty of Utrecht, and in letting her into the Gulf 
of St. Lawrence he was only conforming to the opinion of 
others. Hardwicke thus summed up the result : " We 
had two meetings this week. The same persons present. 
All was calm and decent. The great points were liberty 
to fish in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and an dbri. Many 

^ Hardwicke to Viscount Royston, Aug. 15, Rockingham Memoirs, vol. i. 
p. 27. 


speeches. At last hoth agreed to by all. ... It is also 
agreed to speak clearly about Dunkirk being put on 
the footing of the Treaty of Aix, and the liberty of fish- 
ing and drying fish in Newfoundland according to the 
thirteenth article of the Treaty of Utrecht, It has also 
been agreed with the honne foi of the French king's 
declaration about Nieuport and Ostend [that is, that 
he had no intention of occupying them permanently], 
and that each side (after our particular peace made) may 
assist their respective allies in money only. Thus far is 
settled, and we meet on Monday to fix the particular 
place for the abri." ^ This meeting also went off calmly 
enough. It was agreed to offer St. Pierre, though Pitt 
persisted in his opinion that the whole concession was a 
mistake. He would not have given an inch, he said. He 
had no fear of Spain, and so far from being deterred by 
her threat of intervention, he vowed he would rather 
fight France and Spain together than France alone — his 
meaning being that the benevolent neutrality of Spain 
towards France was a greater evil than her declared 

Pitt's check in the Cabinet was all the more exasper- 
ating because he felt he had the general feeling of the 
country behind him. In the City the idea of war with 
Spain was popular — it meant rich prizes. Indeed, that 
all important factor in war, the spirit of the people, 
was a grave anxiety to the peace party, and made them 
more than half afraid of what they had done. Much as 
the nation desired peace, it was too umch intoxicated 
with the recent recrudescence of victory to be willing to 
give up anything to secure it. " Mr. Pitt," as Bedford 

1 Hardwicke to Lord Royston, Aug. 22 (Saturday), Rockin<jhaiii Memoirs, 
vol. i. p. 33. 

'^ "(Short Notes of the Meeting at St. James's, Aug. 24," Hardwicke 
Papers (Add. MSS.), 35,570, £. 301. 


194 THE FALL OF PITT 1761 

was told by his alter ego, Richard Rigby, " it is plain, 
does govern ; and the worst of it is, he governs not only 
in the Cabinet Council, but in the opinions of the people 
too. . . . They will tell you in the same breath that you 
must keep everything which you have taken from the 
French, and have everything returned to you which you 
have lost by the war. Depend upon it, my Lord, this 
is the madness of the times, and there is but one cure 
for it, and that is a defeat of some one of our projects. 
Whilst we succeed and make conquests and bonfires, 
the value of the capture is no part of the consideration 
— fresh fuel is added to the delirium, and the fire is kept 
constantly fanned. ... I should not be sorry to hear that 
Martinico, or the next windmill which you attack, should 
get the better of you." ^ 

As Rigby wrote, the matter was settled. On the same 
day Pitt instructed Stanley that he was to present the 
new ultimatum as England's last word. If the French 
refused to accept the main points — that is, the fishery 
settlement, the entire cession of Canada, the restitution 
of everything in Germany, and liberty of each party to 
continue to assist its allies — he was not to await further 
orders, but to return home without taking leave. 

With such a letter on its way the hope of peace was 
very remote. But worse was yet to come. As the deci- 
sion was thus hanging in the balance, another cyphered 
letter, written by Grimaldi to Fuentes on August 31st, 
was intercepted. It was enough to open a blind man's 
eyes. " They have not given Lord Bristol the answer in 
writing," Grimaldi wrote. "... The fear of our Court, 
which is not ill grounded, is for the Flota. They want to 
gain time there till it has arrived at Cadiz, and they are 
secretly sending out twelve ships by way of convoy. . . . 

^ Rigby to Bedford, Aug. 27, Bedford Corr., vol. iii. p. 42. 


They have remained here [in Paris] entirely bound by 
the Family Compact and the Convention. . . . What 
your Excellency mentions is not to be feared . . . since 
both instruments were signed on the 15 th, and I expect 
shortly the ratification." At the same time, moreover — 
apparently on the same day — came a despatch from 
Stanley, saying he had got sight of an article from 
some recent secret treaty, by which France engaged to 
support the interests of Spain equally with her own in 
the negotiation of the peace. This article was also 
referred to in Grimaldi's letter as ensuring that the 
French could not finish the war without the Spanish 
claims being settled.^ 

A day or two later came three more letters from 
Stanley respecting the result of his discussions with 
Choiseul on the last ultimatum. He could no longer 
hope that any concession that Choiseul seemed inclined 
to make would lead to peace. France was certainly not 
in earnest. He had come to a final conclusion that a 
reconciliation between the two Crowns was impracticable, 
and that it was time for him to return home without 
taking his leave. People, moreover, were everywhere 
asserting that Spain was about to declare war, and he 
had little doubt it was true. " I cannot answer," he said, 
" whether the convention between these two Crowns is 
actually authenticated ; but I am assured that at least it 
wants only the last hand and signature." Finally, he 
confirmed the intelligence about the Spanish ships going 
out to meet the Flota, and added that Choiseul, thou'di 
personally polite, had suddenly become extremely grave 
and full of anxiety.^ 

* Chatham Corr., vol. ii. p. 139 ; Newcastle Papers, Aug. 31, 32,927- 

• Stanley to Pitt, Sept. 4, G, and 8, Thackeray, vol. ii. pp. 012-618. 
The letters came to hand on the 11th. Newcastle to Bedford, Bedford 
Corr., vol. ii. p. 43. 

196 THE FALL OF PITT 1761 

For Pitt this was enough. Indeed, it was no more 
than he had long expected, and he was resolved to 
seize the initiative. The means was ready in his mind. 
Stanley must be recalled immediately, and a squadron 
sent down to Cadiz to intercept the expected Flota. 
There was apparently no difficulty about it. Keppel 
had now something like sixty sail under his broad- 
pendant ; and on intelligence from Holmes that some 
rich French vessels were coming home under convoy 
from St. Domingo, he had spread his fleet as far down 
as Finisterre to intercept them.^ Anson, moreover, fur- 
nished a memorandum, showing he had " within call " 
fifty-four of the line and fifty-eight frigates, besides the 
Mediterranean squadron.^ 

On September 15 th the Cabinet met, and Pitt laid his 
drastic proposals before it. About their attitude towards 
France there was little difficulty. Hardwicke himself was 
for Stanley's recall, and though he was absent, at the 
death-bed of his wife, his influence prevailed. That 
night Pitt wrote to Stanley that he was to demand his 
passports forthwith. With the Spanish business it was 
different. For the peace party the continuance of the old 
war was as much as they could bear. To rush into a 
new one was midsummer madness. And here they had 
the powerful support of Anson. He had recently been 
promoted Admiral of the Fleet to fetch the new Queen 

^ Keppel to Admiralty, July 25, In-letters, 91. 

* Newcastle Papers, Add. MSS., 32,928, Sept. 15, and Hardwicke Papers, 
ibid., 35,870, f. 301. Anson gave the distribution of the fleet as follows: 
Home Stations. — Ships of the line : convoys and cruising, 5 ; Downs, 1 ; 
off Havre, 2 ; Keppel, 28 ; in port or under sailing orders, 20, less 2 just 
cast. Total, 56; frigates, 58. Mediterranean. — Saunders, "probably off 
Toulon," 1 1 of the line and 12 frigates. Distant Stations. — Ships of the 
line : East Indies, 14 ; Jamaica, 6 ; Leeward Islands, 8 ; North America, 6 ; 
other plantations, 2 ; convoys and cruising, 4. Total, 40. Grand total — 
Home and Mediterranean, 65 of the line and 70 frigates. In all, 105 of 
the line. 


from Holland. Thither he had gone in high state with 
all the royal yachts, and had just returned in time for 
the council. It was the last time he ever flew his flag. 
He was approaching seventy, and the strain of his strenuous 
life, and, above all, of the last few years, had told its tale. 
He had set out on his stately mission when hopes of 
peace were high. He returned to find a new war before 
him. It was more than he could face, and with all the 
authority of his great name, he pronounced that it was 
impossible to support a war with Spain.^ 

The Cabinet met again for a final decision on the l7th, 
but so violent was the struggle that it had to bo adjourned 
till the next day. Then it was Pitt laid before them 
Grimaldi's intercepted letter, but still they resisted. In 
vain he urged his point with all his eloquence and powers 
of exposition, and every one agreed he had never spoken 
better or more reasonably. He began by setting out 
all the varied evidence that pointed irresistibly to the 
existence of a Bourbon alliance. There was danger in 
his proposal, he admitted, but danger lay in any resolution 
they might take, and delay could only increase it. What 
was the " option of dangers " ? he asked, in the words 
Wolfe had used about Rochefort. There was nothing 
between vigorous action and acquiescence. If there was 
danger now, how much greater would it be in the coming 
May, when Spain was to declare herself. Why not act at 
once ? There was now but one House of Bourbon. 
Spain had grafted herself upon Franco, and her fleet 
must be regarded as the remnant of the fleet of France. 
" Spain," he added, " is France, and France is Spain." - 

» Newcastle Papers, Sept. 15, 32,928. 

^ "Notes of Pitt's Speech, Sept. 18," Hard^vicke Papers, Add. MSS., 
35,570, f. 304. In the margin his son and successor has written, 
" This was an able speech." And compare Newcastle's Notes, ibid., 

1 98 THE FALL OF PITT 1761 

But for all his force and eloquence the men of peace 
were unshaken. Supported by Bute, they urged, with the 
nicety of the grands seigneurs they were, that a blow before 
declaration could not be justified on knowledge obtained 
from intercepted letters. Spain, like France, must be 
put to fair trial. Before adopting the drastic course for 
which Pitt was on fire and well prepared, they argued 
that there were first three questions to be settled : was 
such a course justified ? was it within our naval and 
military strength ? and, lastly, was it expedient ? It was 
recalled by Lord Granville how Lord Torrington's instruc- 
tions in 1718, which had resulted, in full time of peace, 
in the destruction of the Spanish fleet oif Cape Passaro, 
had never been forgiven to that day. It was also urged 
that Boscawen's opening of the present war was no great 
argument for repeating the experiment. Let Bristol, 
therefore, be instructed to make a strong protest, and 
demand an explanation at Madrid, and, at the same time, 
give a handsome offer about Honduras. Let Saunders be 
strengthened in the Mediterranean, and Holmes and 
Douglas in the West Indies, and let care be taken 
against a sudden blow from Spain, either upon the 
British coasts or Ireland. Finally, Anson clenched the 
matter by declaring that the ships he had within call 
at home were nearly four thousand men short of their 

Such talk Pitt knew well, and it drove him, as always, 
to violent resistance. Seeing argument was no further 
use, he insisted on putting Bristol's immediate recall to 
the vote. In spite of his convinced vehemence, no one 
but his fiery brother-in-law. Lord Temple, supported his 
motion, and the decision was given against him. Furious 
at his check, but not yet defeated, Pitt fell back on 
the old device, which had served him so well before, of 


insisting that a minute of the vote should be drawn 
up that the King and country might know who was 
responsible. Nor was this all, for he went so far as to 
announce his intention of drawing up a protest against 
the decision for presentation to the King. Still the 
rest stood to their guns, and a minute of the pro- 
ceedings was drafted. It was to the effect that Pitt's 
proposals had been rejected by the majority as both 
inexpedient and unjustified ; that Bristol was to demand 
an explanation of the Spanish intentions, and to offer 
to evacuate Honduras if the right to cut logwood were 
guaranteed, and that three thousand men and seven 
ships of the line should be sent to Guadeloupe, and 
Saunders reinforced.^ 

For the peace party it was a Pyrrhic victory. In the 
heat of the debate Pitt had plainly hinted at resignation. 
Bute, at least, was seriously alarmed, and Newcastle, as of 
old, almost subdued. To defeat Pitt was one thing, to 
face the war and the excited country without him was 
another. On the morrow, therefore, Bute summoned his 
party to meet him at Devonshire House. If peace came, 
he said, Pitt might go or stay — it mattered not — but as 
war was practically certain they ought to make a great 
effort to keep him. He begged them, therefore, to meet 
again on the morrow, and consider Pitt's protest. This 
they did, all but Hardwicke, the death of whose wife 
deprived them of his sagacious and temperate counsel at 
the critical hour. In the end it was found they could 
not take the step Pitt demanded. It was agreed that 
before hostilities were commenced a notification, tanta- 
mount to a declaration of war, must be given to Spain, 
and Bristol recalled. The only concession they could 

1 Newcasde Papers, Sept. 15, 17, and 18, Add. MSS., 32,928; Hnnlwieke 
Papers, ibid., :}5,.'570, f. 304. 

200 THE FALL OF PITT 1761 

bring themselves to make was that naval preparations 
should go on as though war were certain/ 

On September 21st Pitt presented his protest to the 
King. The King, to his surprise, refused to receive it. 
His Majesty, with Bute at his elbow, declared bluntly he 
would take no resolution with regard to Spain till Stanley 
came back to tell them all he knew. A Council was held 
directly afterwards to consider this last means of deferring 
a decision. Bute, Devonshire, and Newcastle approved it 
and held their ground. Mansfield was unsteady, but was 
inclined to side with them on the plea that he could not 
see what operations could be undertaken against Spain that 
would suffer by the delay. This gave Pitt his chance. At 
great length, and with studied politeness and candour, he 
laid before them the whole plan of war which he had already 
elaborated, showing how important was instant action, and 
how certain was success against the united House of Bour- 
bon. He ended by declaring he would not set his hand to 
any other plan, and that was his last word. His eloquence 
shook Mansfield, who declared the statement put things 
in a very different light, and he "plainly made fair 
weather for Pitt." Temple followed hotly and rudely on 
the same side, but in the end there was nothing but an 
adjournment sine die till Stanley's return." 

With Mansfield's half conversion the crisis became 
acute, and a new meeting of the Opposition was called. 
Pitt's protest, which was also signed by Temple, was for 
them the alarming factor. It was a temperate document 
and difficult to meet. After reciting that the Spanish 
Government had acknowledged Bussy's action in pre- 

* Minute of Meeting, Sept. 19, Newcastle to Hardwicke, Sept. 20. The 
Ministers present were Granville, Devonsliire, Newcastle, Bute, and 
Mansfield. Newcastle Papers, Add. MSS., 32,928. 

* Newcastle to Hardwicke, Sept. 21, BocHw/ham Memoirs, vol. i. p. 37. 

i76i PITT'S PROTEST 201 

senting their claims, and his boast that the French King 
was ready to support Spain if she took action, the 
document proceeded, "This unjust and unexampled pro- 
ceeding . . . and the full declaration and avowal at last 
made of the union of counsels and interest between the 
two monarchies of the House of Bourbon . . . call in- 
dispensably on his Majesty to take forthwith such 
necessary and timely measures as God hath put into his 
hands," And therefore an order should be sent to Lord 
Bristol to deliver a declaration to that effect, and come 
away immediately without taking his leave. The protest, 
it will be seen, though it hinted at action before declara- 
tion, did not demand it categorically. Nothing was 
definitely insisted on but an immediate breaking ofif of 
diplomatic relations tantamount to a declaration of war. 
It might easily have been done before any blow was struck 
at the Plate fleet.^ 

Scarcely had this step been taken when a new weapon 
came to Pitt's hand. Yet another despatch from Grim- 
aldi to Fuentes, dated September 13th, was intercepted 
on the 22nd. In this letter Grimaldi said the treaty had 
been ratified, and that in accordance with its provisions 
Bussy had been instructed by Choiseul to sign nothing 
that did not include an accommodation with Spain. Still, 
what weakened Pitt's position was that the Spaniards 
were plainly ill at ease. Grimaldi said he believed that 
the French were ready to accept the British terms, and 
that if the negotiations were broken off it would be 
entirely on the account of Spain.^ From this point of 

* For the text of the protest or "Advice in Writing," see QrenviUe 
Papers, vol. i. p. 386, and Ilardvdcke Papers, Add. MSS., 35,570, f. 300. 

" Grimaldi to Fuentes, Sept. 13, Chatham Corr., vol. ii. p. 141. It was 
intercepted apparently about a week later. Newcastle's copy is endorsed 
as read, Sept. 23, Newcastle Papers, 32,928 ; Grenville saw it on Friday, 
24th, Grenville Papers, vol. i. p. 391. 

202 THE FALL OF PITT 1761 

view, therefore, the letter might be said to tell in favour 
of trying to come to terms with Spain, rather than for 
immediate action. 

Pitt, however, demanded that a Cabinet should be 
called forthwith to consider Grimaldi's despatch, but to 
no purpose.^ A last letter had come from Stanley 
which served materially to strengthen the position of 
Bute and his friends. Stanley had had another talk 
with Choiseul, in which that accomplished diplomat 
protested warmly that he still desired peace, and that 
the affairs of Spain should not prevent it. And he 
added Spain could easily be dropped. On the other 
hand, Stanley also said that from information he had 
received an attack on Portugal must be expected as 
soon as Spain declared war. In a previous letter he 
had given warning that the tone of the Court was 
changing. There had been influences about the King 
which till lately had threatened to subvert Choiseul's 
domination. Now he said Choiseul was completely in 
the ascendant, and that he was convinced he wanted 
peace.^ These letters made no impression on Pitt, who 
saw clearly through Choiseul's game. " Mr. Pitt," 
wrote Newcastle, " triumphs much on Grimaldi's letter 
and on that curious expression in Stanley's, ' When Spain 
declares war I expect an attack in Portugal.' " The 
King and Bute thought differently, and were supported 
by all the peace party. Another meeting was held at 
Devonshire House, at which they decided that Pitt's 
request for a Cabinet should be refused, since Stanley's 
letters made it absurd to take any step until he returned.^ 

^ Jenkinson to Grenville, Sept. 29, Orenville Papers, vol. i. p. 391. 

* Stanley to Pitt, Sept. 15, Thackeray, vol. ii. p. 623 ; Newcastle to 
Hardwicke, Sept. 23, Rockingham Memoirs, vol. i. p. 40. 

» Newcastle to Hardwicke, Sept. 23 and 20, Newcastle Papers, 32,928, 
and part of the letter of the 23rd is printed in the Rockingham Memoirs. 


So much was easy, but there still remained the 
thorny question of how to meet the protest of Pitt and 
Temple. To answer it in writing could only lead to 
a paper war. Hardwicke had warned Newcastle to 
bear in mind that the House of Commons might call 
for papers and Pitt would certainly support the motion.^ 
To enter into a written controversy, therefore, would only 
be playing into Pitt's hand. It was his obvious game to 
appeal from the Cabinet to the people, and that was a 
proceeding they were not prepared to face. It was 
accordingly resolved, to Pitt's deep resentment, that 
each of them should go singly to the King and give 
his private opinion by word of mouth. So one by one 
they went — Mansfield, Anson, Ligonier, and all. Anson 
told the King he could not have a squadron ready for 
the coast of Spain for two months since Keppel's ships 
were so foul, and he promised to say so in the Cabinet 
so as to cut short any idea of immediate operations.^ 
When Pitt found out what was going on, he had an 
audience too. But the effect was only to increase 
the King's growing antipathy. " The King," wrote 
Newcastle, " seems every day more offended with 
Mr. Pitt, and plainly wants to get rid of him at all 
events." ^ 

On the last day of September Stanley had arrived 
from Paris, and a Council was forthwith called for three 
days later. His report once more swung opinion to 
Pitt's side. On being questioned it was found he could 
not or would not uphold the views expressed in his 
last letters. His talk tended all to war and not to 
peace, and he represented the whole situation in a light 

* Hardwicke to Newcastle, Sept. 24, ibid. 

^ Newcastle Papers, 32,929, "Mem., 8ept. 30." 

^ To Hardwicke, Sept. 20, Rockingham Mcinoin, vol. i. p. 43. 

204 THE FALL OF PITT 1761 

favourable to Pitt.^ Even Hardwicke was shaken. He 
thought Stanley's report and Grimaldi's letter together 
showed that Spain was more in earnest than they had 
thought. Still he was against declaring war without 
first demanding an explanation, but Anson, he said, 
had told him he had six clean ships of the line ready, 
and these had better be sent at once to Saunders, with 
orders for him to remain at Gibraltar ready to act the 
moment Spain stirred.^ 

So before ever the Cabinet met the matter was settled. 
Pitt made one more appeal, urging particularly Grimaldi's 
last letter, and Stanley's warning about the danger of 
Portugal. It was useless. The rest all held their old 
ground. Ligonier supported them in the strongest 
manner, arguing plausibly enough that war with Spain 
meant adding sixty thousand good troops to the army of 
France. Anson pronounced that the fleet was not ready 
for any material operation against Spain. Mansfield 
dwelt on the danger from neutral maritime powers, who 
would all suspect we meant to destroy them one after 
the other. To press the matter further was waste labour. 
Temple took an angry farewell and left the room. Pitt 
declared his opinion unchanged. The King and country, 
he said, had received an indignity under which he could 
not sit down. " I have in my bag," he solemnly declared, 
" so much matter as I think would be criminal matter 
against any Secretary of State who let it sleep in his 
office." He reminded them how he had been called to 
direct the war at a time when every one had abdicated, 
how all or nearly all of his expeditions had been ridiculed 
and thwarted, and what success they had won. Now it 
was clear all were against him and he must make an end, 

' Newcastle to Hardwicke, Oct. 1, Rockingham Memoirs, vol. i. p. 44. 
^ Hardwicke to Newcastle, Nejvcastle Pafpers, 32,929, Oct. 1. 


" I will be responsible," he said, " for nothing that I do 
not direct." ^ 

Thus in his last words he formulated the doctrine 
which was at the bottom of the resistance he had raised. 
He undoubtedly believed that it was only by the com- 
plete responsibility of a War Minister that a constitutional 
country could hope to make war successfully. Such had 
been his position, and well had he justified the new 
theory. But it was one which the old Constitutional 
Whigs could not possibly accept or endorse. Granville, 
the personification of their political theories, broken as 
he was with his excesses, and at death's door, took 
upon himself to answer. " I find," he is reported to have 
said, " the gentleman is determined to leave us, nor can 
I say I am sorry for it, since he would otherwise have 
compelled us to leave him. But if he is resolved to 
assume the right of addressing his Majesty and directing 
the operations of war, to what purpose are we called to 
this Council ? . . . However, though he may possibly 
have convinced himself of his infallibility, still it remains 
that we should be equally convinced before we can resign 
our understandings to his direction, or join with him in 
the measure he proposes."'" Pitt's theory which the 
brilliant old statesman combated with the last flare of 
his genius has found to this day no real resting-place 
in English ideas of government. To the great political 
leaders of that day — the high priests of the English 
Revolution — it was little short of treason. Granville's 
declaration could only convince them that loyalty and 

* " Notes at the Meeting of the Lords, Oct. 2," Hardwicke Papers, Add. 
MSS., 35,370, f. 310 ; Nexocastle Papers, Oct. 2, ibid., 32,929; Newcastle to 
Bedford, Oct. 2, Bedford Corr., vol. iii. p. 46. 

* Annual Rcjister, 1761, p. 44. The speech is not mentioned by Hard- 
wicke or Newcastle in their notes of the meeting and it may be apocryphal, 
but it certainly represents the feeling which crushed Pitt. 

2o6 THE FALL OF PITT 1761 

patriotism demanded they should stand firm. So when 
the President ceased to speak, the Council broke up un- 
shaken and three days later Pitt resigned. 

So fell the greatest war administrator England has 
ever had, a victim to the disease which in a constitu- 
tional country is inherent in effective war-direction. His 
words, " I will be responsible for nothing that I do not 
direct," were taken hold of and harped upon with in- 
creasing resentment, and perhaps with justice and sound 
intuition. Under a government like our own, it is pro- 
bable that any form of real combined control in war 
must sooner or later produce a pathological condition, so 
obnoxious to the constitution that either the constitution 
must perish or develop a paroxysm — as in one of Pitt's 
own fits of the gout — in which it will throw off the disease 
and rid itself of the morbid impurity. In Cromwell's 
case, the constitution was not sound enough to engender 
the healing paroxysm ; in Marlborough's and in Pitt's it 
was, and with what diverse results we know. 

In the present case the loss was indeed great — the 
remedy severe — and yet, perhaps, the utmost good had 
been already obtained from the strong wine of Pitt's 
domination. Of Lord Hardwicke, the greatest of the 
Chancellors, it is said that during his tenure of the 
woolsack, he raised equity from a chaos of isolated 
precedents to a reasoned system. Pitt had done the 
same for the war, and afforded his country for all time, 
if she had had the wit to understand, a complete system 
of how to use the peculiar strength that belonged to her 
and to no one else. He had done so triumphantly — too 
triumphantly, indeed, for the security of the world — and 
there lay cause enough for his defeat. In his vision of 
England as sole mistress of the sea, he fell into an 
error as enticing and as fatal as that which brought the 

i76i ITS CAUSES 207 

Grand Monarque and Napoleon to their ruin. Magnifi- 
cent as Avas his strategy, it broke the golden rule. He 
pushed his action beyond the point where by drawing 
fresh force to the enemy it strengthens him more than 
it can hurt. In Pitt's defence it must be said he did 
give way. He was ready to make peace on terms below 
what he believed it to be in his power to enforce. His 
mistake was that in the pride of the power to which he 
had lifted his country he did not make sure of Spain. 
A liberal and timely concession in Honduras might well 
have kept Wall staunch, but he let the hour slip by and 
so played into Choiseul's hands. It is usually said his 
fall was due to the dislike and intrigue of the young 
King and his Court. It would be truer, perhaps, to regard 
it as a triumph of Choiseul's subtle policy. By the 
French Minister's own statement that policy was based on 
Pitt's fall, and by his clever balancing so long between 
a reasonable peace and an alliance with Spain Pitt's 
quarrel with his colleagues and the throne was brought 
to a head. But for the Spanish complication there 
would certainly have been a compromise between Pitt 
and the peace party, and France would have been com- 
pelled to make peace on the terms he last oftered. It 
was on the question of an immediate attack on Spain, 
and on that alone that he fell. 

On that question was he right or wrong ? It is diffi- 
cult to say even now when we know all that followed. 
No situation could better exemplify the extreme delicacy 
of disentangling politics from pure strategy. Being con- 
vinced that war with Spain was inevitable he was bidden 
by pure strategy to strike at once. Every war we had 
had with Spain had opened with an attempt upon the 
Plate fleet. One more such attempt could hardly have 
given us a worse reputation, especially as in this case it 

2o8 THE FALL OF PITT 1761 

would probably have been preceded by the withdrawal 
of our ambassador. Yet was the game worth the candle ? 
Assuming, as we well may, that the material difficulties 
raised by Anson were not insuperable, could we have 
gained enough to compensate for the odium which the 
contemplated blow would have entailed ? It is very 
doubtful. There were other wavering neutrals, like 
Denmark and the Dutch, who would have felt the smart 
dangerously. It is strange that Pitt of all men should 
have been ready to run the risk. No one felt so strongly 
as he how weak and unready was Spain, and how easily 
she was to be beaten by open war upon the high seas. 
But the vice of permitting an almost declared enemy to 
commence hostilities at the moment that best pleases her 
seems to have been intolerable to his strategic sense. If 
war was inevitable Pitt was perhaps right ; if it was not 
he was wrong. Pitt believed it was : his opponents still 
hoped. There was enough evidence to show that the 
main impulse came from France and not from Spain ; 
that the union of the two countries was by no means 
stable, and that even at the eleventh hour Spain might 
be persuaded there was an easier way of obtaining her 
end than by burning her fingers for France. There was 
much to justify at least an attempt to stay her hand, and 
it is difficult to read the reasoned arguments of such a 
man as Hardwicke without feeling that the great majority 
of sagacious and experienced statesmen would have been, 
like Anson and Ligonier, on his side and the King's, and 
not on Pitt's. 



If there had been hesitation about commencing hostilities 
with Spain, there was none about a vigorous continuation 
of the war with France. Before Pitt resigned, he had 
been able to fire his last bolt against her, and to set in 
motion the third wave of the great attack, with which he 
meant to sweep her from her last footing in the West Indies. 

The only effect of Choiseul's cunning had been to 
increase its intensity. In July the final orders had 
gone to Amherst and Admiral Colville, on the American 
station, for the despatch of ten battalions with artillery 
and engineers to Barbadoes, where they were to find 
their orders. At the same time Sir James Douglas, 
who was still in command in the Leeward Islands, was 
told to expect them at Guadeloupe by the end of October. 
He was also informed that the French were preparing 
two squadrons, one at Brest and one at Rochefort, each 
consisting of about seven of the line, which were intended 
for the succour of Martinique, and that if they escaped 
the home blockade he was to station a squadron off 
the island strong enough to deal with them. General 
Monckton, who was bringing the troops from America, 
was to command in chief ashore, and he was to arrange 
with him for a rendezvous. There Lord Rollo's troops 
and all that could be spared fro^m the garrisons of 
Guadeloupe and Antigua were to be concentrated, and the 

VOL. II. *°^ o 


whole force would then amount to about eleven thousand 
men. Douglas would have about twelve of the Ime 
available to act with the military force, and with these 
he was to render them every assistance in his power.^ 

But for the possibility of Spanish intervention such a 
force would have been ample for its purpose. But as the 
horizon darkened, Pitt's intention was not bounded by 
the mere conquest of Martinique. It must also serve as 
a secure foothold from whence he could spring upon the 
Spanish islands the moment Spain stirred. So far and 
no further had Pitt persuaded the Cabinet to go upon 
the road he knew they would have to tread. It will be 
remembered that at the famous meeting in September, 
where he had exhausted all his vehemence in trying to 
force them to strike a sudden blow at Spain and had 
been outvoted, he had wrung from them a consent to 
reinforce Saunders in the Mediterranean and to send out 
three thousand fresh troops and seven more of the line 
to Guadeloupe. The very day after the meeting, when 
the King refused to receive his protest, the orders were 
issued — to Belleisle for four regiments to be sent off 
immediately, and for Swanton and five other captains to 
join Douglas, and finally to Rodney to hoist his flag and 
proceed to Guadeloupe to take Douglas and the whole 
naval force under his command. This notable appoint- 
ment, which became necessary owing to the increase of 
the force and the danger, and which Rodney had well 
earned by his indefatigable operations in the Channel 
against the French flotillas, was the last Pitt ever made. 
Even before the new commander-in-chief had hoisted his 
flag, Pitt had resigned.^ 

^ Admiralty Secretary, Out-Iclters {Secret Orders), 1331, July 22. 
^ Secret Orders, ibid., Oct. 1 and 7. Rodney's Orders are dated Sept. 21. 
He hoisted bis flag on Oct. i) at Portsmouth. 


As thus from America, from Belleisle, and from home 
the forces which his spirit contimied to wield were 
gathering to do his Avill, the new Ministers were making 
the best of the more sober policy to which they had 
committed themselves. Newcastle still retained the 
nominal leadership, but his reward for the part he had 
played in unseating Pitt was to find himself more of a 
nonentity than ever. Eager to take the fallen leader's 
place, he was for consulting Anson on a number of 
vague projects, which showed all his old incapacity for 
concentrated design. Ol^ron, the French coast, the 
Scheldt, Emden, America, India, all passed through his 
mind, aimlessly, but no one gave him heed. He com- 
plained that he was entirely neglected ; that new regi- 
ments were being raised every day, of which he knew 
nothing ; that the King was doing everything ; and his 
letters to all his old correspondents and allies — Bedford, 
Devonshire, Hardwicke, and the rest, who were as much 
out in the cold as himself — were filled with sarcasms 
upon the Ministers who had his ambitious Majesty's ear.^ 
The truth was that the blow they had struck in the 
name of the Constitution and of Cabinet responsibility 
was raising the worse devil of autocracy. 

The real head of the new government was Bute, whom 
we know for a well-meaning mediocrity, full of high 
ideas of kingship. Ignorant as yet of what government 
meant, he still thought, like Phaeton, he could drive the 
horses of the sun. " Young king, young nobility," was 
his motto. For him Newcastle was but a " crazy old 
man," whom it was convenient to permit to " tide over a 
year or two more of his political life."" To Bute and 
the King, whose brains were buzzing with Stuart theories 

1 Newcastle Papers, 32,029-30 /)ass«n. 

* " Heads of Lord Bute's Letters," Orenvillc Papers, vol. i. p. 3'.)G. 

212 MARTINIQUE 1761 

of monarchy, the old minister represented, with the 
Russells, the Cavendishes, and the rest, the aristocratic 
oligarchy that had dominated the throne ever since the 
Revolution. Their power was to be broken, but, for the 
present, concessions had to be made and places provided 
for them in the Government. Bedford himself, who at 
this time was entirely devoted to Bute, was made Privy 
Seal. Devonshire received no office, probably because 
he was regarded as too entirely under the influence 
of Fox. 

It was an influence which seriously added to the 
greatest difficulty of the new administration. The crux 
was the management of the House of Commons, where 
Pitt's terrible figure would still be supreme. For this 
arduous task Bute pitched on his intimate friend, George 
Grenville, who had held the lucrative office of Treasurer 
of the Navy almost continuously since the beginning of 
the war. Though brother to Lord Temple, and conse- 
quently brother-in-law to Pitt, he had not tendered his 
resignation with the rest of his family, and Bute pressed 
him to accept the seals which Pitt had laid down. This, 
however, Grenville protested was too much for his 
" delicacy." He begged to be made Speaker, but neither 
the King nor Bute would listen, and eventually he was 
induced to retain his old office and accept the leadership 
of the House. Under this arrangement it was, of course, 
necessary to keep Pitt's successor out of the Commons. 
Beyond all question, if ability were to decide, Fox was 
the man who should have taken up the reins. But 
Grenville absolutely refused to do business with him, and 
he himself was content to continue amassing a fortune 
as Paymaster of the Forces. At Grenville's suggestion, 
therefore, Pitt's cloak was fastened on the shoulders of 
Lord Egremont, whose sister he had married, and by this 


means, the Navy and the Foreign Office continued to be 
as intimately connected as before.^ 

The Spanish question was by no means the end of the 
false position which the new Government had taken up 
in regard to the war. To justify a policy founded on 
the good intentions of Spain was bad enough, but behind 
it lay the equally thorny questions of the German war 
and the militia. The annual treaty with Frederick and 
the term for which the militia had been raised were both 
about to expire. The King wished to renew neither. 
His passion to be an English king set his mind obstin- 
ately against using the resources of the country for the 
defence of Hanover. He hated the place — the wits said 
he could never find it on the map. Could he but with- 
draw his troops from the Continent there would be no 
need of the militia, and in his eyes the militia, being in 
the hands of the territorial aristocracy, was the great 
danger to the royal prerogative which he was determined 
to enhance. 

Such were the difficulties which Grenville had to face 
at the start. The new Parliament, the first of the new 
reign, was to meet early in November, and every one was 
looking to the King's Speech for light on the burning 
questions. The country was in a highly excitable condi- 
tion. After a few days' resentment at Pitt's accepting a 
pension for himself and a peerage for his wife at the 
King's hands it had worked itself into a fury of sympathy 
and admiration for the fallen Minister. It had bejifun 
again to rain upon him addresses and gold boxes ; and jan 
Lord Mayor's Day, on the occasion of the King and 
Queen visiting the City, there had been a riotous demon- 
stration against Bute and in Pitt's favour. Three days 
earlier the King's Speech had been delivered, and it was 

* " Grenville's Narrative," ibid., 409-12. 

214 MARTINIQUE 1761 

silent on all that the country wanted to know. Neither 
the German war nor the militia were mentioned, and far 
from there being a word about the insult which the 
country regarded itself to have suffered from Spain, the 
Gazette had vaunted the pacific disposition of the offending 

On November 13 th the Address was moved, and led 
to a great deal of violent invective on both sides. Above 
all was heard a loud note of arraignment of the German 
war. Frederick had recently suffered a serious reverse 
at Sweidnitz, and in spite of Ferdinand's victory Germany 
was again in bad odour. Loyalty to Frederick forced Pitt 
at last to his feet. He did not wish, he said, to defend his 
conduct then, but he could not let the post go abroad 
Avithout a word being said in that House in support of 
England's allies. So he fell into an explanation of all 
the German war had meant in his system. Recalling the 
old scare under which he had come to power, he reminded 
them that it was nothing but the spectre of an invasion 
that had frightened us out of Minorca. The Ministers of 
that day, he said, had not had constancy enough to look 
it in the face, and so it would be again if the troops of 
France found themselves at liberty to quit Germany. 
He had known five thousand French occasion our recal- 
ling seventy or four-score thousand to confront them 
(alluding probably to what had occurred in 1745). The 
way to peace was not by abandoning our efforts. England 
was equal to both wars, the American and the German ; 
and if they were continued, nothing but conquest would 
follow — all owing to the German war. If we abandoned 
our allies, God would abandon us. When we had spent 
a hundred millions, should we throw away the fruit rather 
than spend twelve more. Let a man so narrow-minded 
stand behind a counter, and not govern a kingdom. 


Then he made his famous declaration, "America has heen 
conquered in Germany." Forced from its context it was 
much ridiculed at the time, and since has led to serious 
misconception of what Pitt's system really was. It will 
be seen that it must not be taken as a scientific statement 
of the principle on which his war-plan was framed, but 
as a defence of the principal containing or defensive 
operations, without which his main attack could not have 
been made, and if made, must in the end have been 
fruitless. He ended by solemnly repudiating the accusa- 
tion that he had courted war with Spain, protested he 
would divulge nothing it was his duty as a Privy Coun- 
cillor to conceal, but would leave it to the House to 
judge when all the papers, including his own protest to 
the King, were produced, how patient and long-suffering 
he had been. With that he sat down, and Grenville did 
not venture to answer him. 

The conclusion at least Avas very difficult to answer. 
A fortnight after Pitt's resignation another despatch from 
Grimaldi to Fuentes in London had been intercepted, 
which made the intentions of Spain look less pacific than 
ever. Bussy, so Grimaldi said, had just returned to Paris, 
and then added, " We shall see one another shortly, be it 
a little sooner or a little later. The moment is not yet 
fixed." Meanwhile Fuentes was to send advices of any 
expeditions and warlike preparations that were on foot in 
England.^ It was clear Spain was only waiting till she 
was ready to commence hostilities, and in the course of 
the week the Cabinet hardened its heart to instruct Lord 
Bristol at Madrid to ask in a friendly way for the com- 
munication of the Franco-Spanish treaty, and to intimate 
with all politeness that although the new Government 

* Grimaldi to Fuentes, Paris, Oct. 5, received Oct. 16, Nexccastlc Papers, 

2i6 MARTINIQUE 1761 

was prepared to negotiate liberally on the Spanish claims, 
the granting of his request was to be a condition precedent 
to the negotiation. The day after the debate on the 
Address Bristol's reply arrived. He had seen Wall, and 
asked him if the rumour of the alliance was true. Wall 
had answered with long and angry abuse of England and 
all her ways. At a second interview Bristol had continued 
to press his point, till at last Wall acknowledged that the 
Family Compact had been renewed, but absolutely refused 
to say whether any further treaty existed. Bristol con- 
cluded his despatch by saying that the Plate fleet had 
got home with enormously rich cargoes, and he assumed 
that this, coupled with the recent French successes to- 
wards Hanover and those of Austria in Silesia, accounted 
for Wall's startling change of tone.^ 

It would have been thought that the game of Spain was 
now clear enough, and that the obvious course was not to 
leave her to declare war at her own time. That there 
was any hope of averting it no man could really believe ; 
yet the Government could bring themselves no further 
than to send an ultimatum. Bristol was instructed to 
demand an explicit and prompt answer as to whether 
or not it was the intention of Spain to ally herself with 
France against England. If he failed to obtain a satis- 
factory answer he was to come from Madrid forthwith, 
without taking leave, and repair to Lisbon. But first, 
when all hopes were at an end, he was to send word of 
his approaching departure to Saunders and Keppel, and 
to repeat the information the moment he reached the 
Portuguese frontier. He already had been told to dis- 
abuse the Spanish Government of any idea they might 
have conceived that the resignation of Pitt meant that 
the whole spirit of the war was subsiding. " The example 

^ Jbid., Nov. 2, received 14th ; Beatson, vol. iii. p. 313. 


of the spirit of the late measures," Egremont had written, 
" will be a spur to his Majesty's servants to persevere, 
and to stretch every nerve of this country towards forcing 
the enemy to come into a safe, honourable, and, above all, 
a lasting peace." 

It is no more than justice to say that the action of the new 
Government did not belie this spirited declaration. On 
November 20th, the day after the ultimatum was received, 
seven of the line and two frigates, which Anson by this 
time had been able to get ready, were ordered to reinforce 
Saunders, whereby the Mediterranean fleet would be 
brought up to nineteen of the line and a dozen frigates, 
and at the same time Keppel was ordered to send him 
three bomb-vessels. All cruisers on the Portuguese coast 
were ordered into Lisbon to be ready to receive the news 
of the result of the ultimatum and to carry it to all 
stations. Next day, moreover, the Admiralty issued 
warnings in every direction that the ultimatum had been 
sent, and that it was expected that Bristol would leave 
directly. The moment the commanding officers heard 
from him that he intended to do so they were to com- 
mence hostilities, but not before. Saunders's attention 
was specially directed to the ships that were in Cadiz, 
and he was impressed with the importance of dealing a 
severe blow at once.^ Grenville's admiration for Pitt's 
energy and thoroughness had always been high. His 
first act, as Horace Walpole tells, had been to add to 
Hardwicke's sober draft of the King's Speech " some of 
Mr. Pitt's sonantia verba." The old spirit had not ceased 
to glow. Anson was still at the helm, and the intimacy 
between the Admiralty and the Foreign Office left nothing 
to be desired. 

The following day, November 22nd, Rodney, ignorant 

' Admiralty Secretary, Out-letters (Secret Orders), 13.31. 

2i8 MARTINIQUE 1761 

of the turn things had taken, reached Barbadoes. He 
was alone. His squadron had been scattered in a gale 
and foul winds had seriously delayed its passage. In 
Carlisle Bay was Douglas waiting for him. He had been 
there all the month with cruisers watching Martinique 
and his battle squadron ready to sail, according to his 
previous orders, the moment he heard of the escape of a 
squadron from Brest or Rochefort. He had made up his 
mind, when he still believed he was to be in command of 
the attempt against Martinique, that the first thing to do, 
so soon as Monckton arrived from America, was to make 
feints in various parts of the island.^ The idea appar- 
ently commended itself to Rodney, for directly he had 
communicated with Douglas he despatched him to 
blockade St. Pierre, the capital of the island, and to 
destroy the batteries there, although it was not his real 

Then followed a long wait while his scattered forces 
gathered. Rodney employed it hiring and fitting out 
ten local sloops to supply his weakness in small cruisers, 
and these he sent, partly to search the creeks of Martinique 
and partly to watch St. Eustatius, and prevent the Dutch 
sending supplies to the enemy. It was not till December 
9th that all his own squadron joined, being three of the 
line, with two cruisers and three bomb-vessels. On the 
14th arrived the Te'nUraire and a frigate, with the trans- 
ports from Belleisle, and ten days later General Monckton 
and the North American contingent, escorted by three of 
the line and a forty-gun ship from Colville's squadron. 
Lord Rollo, with the troops from Guadeloupe and Antigua, 
joined shortly afterwards, and the force was then com- 
plete. With Douglas's squadron Rodney had now at 
his disposal eighteen of the line, a score of cruisers, and 

* Douglas to the Admiralty, Nov. 5, In-letters, 307. 


four bomb-vessels, while Monckton had over thirteen 
thousand troops, besides about a thousand volunteers and 
negroes raised by the authorities at Barbadoes.^ 

After a few days, required to water the fleet, they sailed, 
and on January 8, 1762, anchored in St. Pierre's Bay. 
There they found Douglas had silenced the batteries, 
though with the loss of the Raisonnable, a " sixty-four," 
which a clumsy pilot had run aground as she was 
leading-in for the French forts. But, as has been said, 
there was no intention of proceeding further. " Having," 
says Rodney, " by the motion of the fleet and army taken 
possession of an excellent harbour, and secured a landing 
in the northernmost part of the island, which might be 
made tenable at any time, and likewise thereby greatly 
alarmed the enemy, at General Monckton's request I 
despatched Commodore Swanton with a squadron of 
ships and two brigades to the Bay of Petite Anse, in order 
to take post there." Petite Anse d'Arlet was in the 
extreme south-west of the island, below Fort Royal, the 
naval station which was the real objective. The influence 
of the operations at Quebec is clear. Under Wolfe and 
Saunders, Monckton had learned the bewildering power 
that is the strength of troops afloat, and full use of it was 
being made. To confuse the enemy still further a 
squadron of five large frigates was sent to La Trinity, a 
port almost opposite St. Pierre, on the windward side of 
the island, with orders to threaten a landing, and Swanton 
was directed to fly a flag similar to the Admiral's. 
Rodney himself, so soon as these detachments were away, 
took the mass of the fleet round Swanton, and came to 
anchor in St. Anne's Bay, in the extreme south of the island. 

^ Rodney to the Admiralty, Jan. 19, 1761. — Mundy, Life of Rodney, vol. i. 
p. (59. Monckton to Egremont, Dec. 31, 1762, S.P. Colonial (America and 
West Indies), 102. 

220 MARTINIQUE 1762 

Here the little batteries were quickly silenced and 
the troops landed, for from this point it was intended to 
make the real attack on Fort Royal over-land. A direct 
attack from the sea was impossible, for in the mouth 
of the Bay, on its south side, stood a high rocky island 
known as Isle des Ramiers, or Pigeon Island. It was 
crowned by a battery of heavy guns, which effectually 
barred the entrance to a hostile fleet. Consequently the 
reduction of this work was regarded as the first step to be 
taken. The idea was to land the troops at a point known 
as St. Luce, on the southern shore of the island, close to 
St. Anne's road. Hence in distance it was but a day's 
march to Fort Royal Bay. This method of getting at 
Pigeon Island, therefore, looked feasible enough ; but no 
reconnoitring had been done in advance, and they were 
quite unaware that the country over which they meant 
to pass was so deeply scored with ravines and rocky 
ridges as to be impassable for artillery. The first recon- 
naissance revealed the ugly truth, and it was obvious 
that, if Pigeon Island was to be reduced, a landing much 
nearer Fort Royal Bay must be used. It was resolved, 
therefore, to try again to the westward, where Swanton 
had been operating at the Petite Anse d'Arlet. The 
troops were accordingly re-embarked and the St. Anne's 
fort blown up. 

At the new point a footing had already been estab- 
lished by Brigadier Haviland, the same who had com- 
manded the central column against Montreal. The 
indefatigable Hervey, too, was there — the hero of 
Hawke's inshore squadron off Brest, who, always in the 
thick of the work, had come out with Swanton from 
Keppel's Belleisle squadron. After Swanton had silenced 
the batteries at Petite Anse d'Arlet, he had sent Hervey on 
the 10th, the same day that Rodney had anchored at St, 


Anne's, into the adjoining Grand Ansa, whicli lay imme- 
diately to the north and nearer still to the objective. 
There, with his wonted energy, he had promptly silenced 
the battery and occupied it with his marines. Troops 
quickly followed from Haviland in support, and, march- 
ing inland, they seized Gros Point, immediately opposite 
Pigeon Island. But here it was the same story. The 
officer in command reported the country quite imprac- 
ticable for artillery, and suggested his return to Haviland 
and S wanton's ships. While waiting for orders, he was 
attacked by troops sent from Fort Royal across the Bay ; 
but he easily drove them off, and eventually retired un- 
molested. It was unpleasant news for Rodney and 
Monckton when they arrived. There was obviously 
nothing left but failure or a direct attack, and on the 
morrow, the 14th, the whole fleet anchored in the mouth 
of Fort Royal Bay. 

Rodney and Monckton immediately proceeded to make 
a fresh reconnaissance, and ugly the project looked. The 
whole country appeared a kind of natural fortification, 
and, in spite of the various feints which had been made, 
it seemed to be swarming with irregular troops exactly 
adapted to the warfare in hand. The shores bristled 
with batteries, deep in the Bay sat the formidable citadel 
towering on a rocky height, and above it, a little inshore, 
rose, like great outworks, three lofty hills — the Morne 
Tortensson, the Morne Garnier, and the Morne Capuchin, 
all strongly entrenched. A landing within the Bay was 
clearly impossible, but next day a likely place was found, 
just to the north of it, at Cas Navires, close to where 
Moore and Hopson had tried two years before. Like every 
other possible point, it was defended by batteries, and the 
country between it and Fort Royal looked as bad as ever. 
But it was this or nothing. Accordingly, on the IGth, 

222 MARTINIQUE 1762 

the whole fleet stood in, silenced the batteries, and at 
sunset Monckton was able to establish himself ashore 
unopposed, with a strong advanced guard. Their bewil- 
dering activity had been rewarded by an effective surprise, 
and, shortly after daybreak next morning, the whole army, 
including marines, had disembarked without the loss of 
a man. Swanton himself, with Hervey and Shuldhain 
of the lost BaisonTuible, conducted the three divisions of 
boats; and so well practised by this time was such 
amphibious work, that all had gone like a clock. The 
whole study of the war tells how difficult and dangerous 
are these operations to a force that is unfamiliar with 
them, and how easy and formidable when both fleet and 
army are at home with the work, and schooled for it, 
hand in hand, by constant and well-ordered practice. 

So soon as the footing was made good, something like 
a regular approach was commenced against Morne Tor- 
tensson and Morne Gamier, the two nearest heights. Of 
what followed a picture has survived which is too vivid 
to lose : " As soon as we were all safely disembarked," 
wrote an officer of Scott's Light Infantry, " our engineers 
were immediately set to work in raising batteries, as well 
to establish our footing on the island as to cover our 
approaches to dislodge the enemy from their posts. For 
this purpose all the cannon and other warlike stores were 
landed as soon as possible, and dragged by the ' Jacks ' 
to any point they [the engineers] thought proper. You 
may fancy you know the spirit of these fellows : but to 
see them in action exceeds any idea that can be formed 
of them. A hundred or two of them with ropes and 
pullies will do more than all your dray-horses in London. 
Let but their tackle hold, and they will draw you a 
cannon or a mortar on its proper carriage up to any 
height, though the weight bo never so great. It is droll 


enough to sec them tugging along with a good twenty- 
four pounder at their heels ; as they go, huzzaing and 
hallooing, sometimes up hill, sometimes down hill ; now 
sticking fast in the brakes, presently floundering in the 
mud and mire ; swearing, blasting, damning, sinking, and 
as careless of everything but the matter committed to 
their charge as if death or danger had nothing to do with 
them. We had a thousand of these brave fellows sent 
to our assistance by the admiral, and the service they 
did us both on shore and on the water is incredible." ^ 

But though the bluejackets revolutionised the ideas of 
the army officers as to what ground was practicable for a 
siege train and what was not, the work of the troops was 
equally determined and brilliant. True their force was 
overwhelming compared Avith that of the French, but the 
country was extraordinarily close and difficult, a paradise 
for irregular troops. It was not till a week after the 
landing that the batteries against Morne Tortensson were 
complete, and early on January 24th a general assault 
was ordered. It was most brilliantly done. On the right 
Colonel Rufane's brigade and the marines, supported by 
a thousand seamen in flat boats rowing along the shore, 
had to take battery after battery. In the centre the 
massed Grenadier companies, supported by Lord Rollo's 
brigade, found an endless succession of works in their 
path, and scarcely could have succeeded but for Scott's 
Light Infantry, who, with the third brigade in support, 
outflanked the position and forced the enemy slowly back. 
Almost every yard had to be won ; yet by nine o'clock 
all was over, and the troops were cheering in the formid- 
able and well-armed redoubt on the summit of Morne 

Before the overwhelming pressure of the well-nourished 

* Mundy, Life of Jiodncy, vol. i. p. 74, note. 

2 24 MARTINIQUE 1762 

attack the enemy had retreated to the still higher Morne 
Garnier, across an almost impassable ravine. So com- 
pletely did it command the captured position that it was 
seen it must be taken before batteries could be erected 
against the citadel upon the ground they had won. Havi- 
land, who now had the extreme left and had already 
seized a footing across the ravine, was ordered to establish 
batteries there. On the 27 th he began the work ; but 
no sooner had he broken ground than the enemy resolved 
to dislodge him, and towards evening made a desperate 
attack in force. But the troops seasoned in the Canadian 
wilds and the Highlanders he had with him withstood 
the shock, and not satisfied with repulsing their enemy, 
pushed on after them as they retreated, and by nightfall 
were in possession of all the batteries on the lower slopes 
of Morne Garnier. Still they were not content. Major 
Leland, with a detachment of light infantry on the 
extreme left flank, still crept on through the darkness. 
Feeling nothing in front of him he climbed higher and 
higher, till at last he found himself in the deserted re- 
doubt on the summit with a loaded mortar and eight un- 
spiked guns in his possession. He was quickly supported 
from below, and thus as the contemporary narrator says, 
" by a happy presence of mind was a defensive advantage 
improved in the nick of time to a successful attack." ^ 

The fact was that the French governor, M. de la 
Touche, after leaving a garrison of about a thousand men 
in Fort Royal, had retired with the bulk of his force to 
St. Pierre. A garrison so abandoned has seldom great 
resisting spirit. So soon as the governor's back was 
turned the regulars retired into the citadel, and the 
militia dispersed to their homes. A day or two later, 
while the citadel was bombarded from Morne Tortensson, 

1 Beatson, vol. ii. p. 524. 


the third position, Morne Capuchm, which was the 
nearest to Fort Royal, was occupied without opposition. 
It was but four hundred yards from the citadel, and 
Monckton immediately prepared to establish a new 
and more effective battery upon its summit. But 
the garrison would stand no more. Further resistance 
was indeed hopeless. On February 3rd they beat the 
chamade, and next day Fort Royal was in Monckton's 
hands. The garrison that marched out was but eight 
hundred men all told, but none the less the extra- 
ordinary physical difficulties and the precision and dash 
with which they had been overcome made the Avhole 
exploit a fine feat of arms. The strength of the French 
preparations, which they had had so long a time to make, 
may be judged by the fact that over a hundred and 
seventy pieces of artillery fell into Monckton's hands, with 
a vast quantity of ammunition. Added to this Rodney 
received the surrender of Pigeon Island on summons, and 
fourteen fine privateers that were lying in the harbour. 

Immediately Fort Royal had surrendered Hervey, 
with a small squadron, was sent round to support the 
frigates at La Trinity. There he promptly landed five 
hundred seamen and marines to seize the place, and the 
whole district at once made its submission. It was the 
end of the operations. M. de la Touche could resist no 
further the pressure which the inhabitants brought to bear 
upon him. Rodney was in the act of moving on against 
St. Pierre when a proposal for capitulation arrived, and 
on February 15 th Martinique was a British possession. 

At last the power of the French in the West Indies 
was completely broken. It remained but to gather in 
the lesser islands. Swanton with a brigade was des- 
patched to Grenada, where he quickly forced the governor 
to surrender. Hervey, with an insignificant detachment, 


2 26 MARTINIQUE 1762 

was sent to St. Lucia and St. Vincent. His orders 
were to attack St. Lucia if lie found it not beyond his 
strength, and if it were he was to report to the admiral. 
On arriving before the place he found he could not make 
sure whether it was beyond his force or not. The en- 
trance was so narrow as to block the view, but as usual 
he was equal to the occasion. He resolved to send in a 
summons to the governor, and after his own peculiar 
manner accompanied the flag of truce dressed as a mid- 
shipman so as to see for himself. His visit satisfied him 
that the task was not beyond his strength. The place 
was defended by a single fort, and he assured himself 
it was possible to run right in and lay his ships close 
enough to knock it to pieces. This plan he accordingly 
proceeded to put in execution the next day, but no sooner 
were his ships seen standing for the harbour than a 
capitulation was sent to meet him. It was thus, as it 
were, single-handed, this intrepid officer had the honour 
of adding to the British possessions that famous naval 
base, which in the future was destined to be the key of 
our position in the Caribbean Sea. No doubt St. Vincent 
too would have been added to his score, but in his absence 
an event had happened which changed the whole situa- 
tion. As he was in the act of proceeding to carry out 
the rest of his instructions he received an urgent order 
from Rodney to rejoin him with all expedition. 



While Rodney had been engaged in breaking the last of 
the French power in the West Indies, the situation in 
Europe had been developing with equal energy. As the 
new Ministers in London waited for the result of their 
ultimatum in Spain their situation grew daily more 
difficult. Their efforts to curb the momentum which 
Pitt had given the war in his last weeks of power had no 
eifect but to mark the divisions that hampered them. 
The army estimates had involved them in a damaging 
debate on the German war. Charles Townshend, the 
general's brother, who had succeeded Barrington at the 
War Office, moved for sufficient forces to continue to 
support Prince Ferdinand on the previous scale. In the 
course of his speech he justified the continental operations 
as the bed-rock defence from which the whole of our 
conquest had been pushed forward. He urged that the 
harmonious co-ordination of offence and defence, " the 
totality of the war," as he called it, had been one of the 
great causes of its success, and he ended with a well- 
reasoned panegyric on what he termed " Mr. Pitt's divine 
plan." The Court dared not permit its views on the 
subject to be seen too openly, but Rigby, Bedford's man, 
had no such scruples, and he denounced the whole con- 
tinental system from beginning to end. Grenville was 
more guarded. It was France's lack of seamen, he said, 
and not the German war which had prevented her sup- 


porting her operations in America or invading England ; 
yet he protested Ministers were bound by treaty to con- 
tinue the continental war against their will. Such a 
speech was tantamount to a declaration that they meant 
to desert Frederick so soon as they could find a decent 
occasion, and it brought Pitt to his legs once more. In 
temperate language he defended his system. The German 
war, he said, had been forced upon him against his will by 
the breach of the Convention of Kloster Zeven, but even 
so he had only agreed to it after every other service had 
been provided for. Having had to undertake it, he 
claimed that he had managed it in such a way that he 
had thereby annihilated the French power both in the 
West and the East Indies. As Germany had formerly 
been handled, it had been a millstone round our necks, 
but he had made it a millstone about the neck of France, 
and he vowed, though he stood alone, he would divide 
the House against deserting our allies. 

The debate closed without a division, but next day the 
trouble was renewed by a private member's motion for 
papers on our relations with Spain. Grenville could only 
resist it by a high assertion that the power to negotiate 
belonged to the Crown. The debate grew angry, the 
House lost its temper, and Pitt magnanimously inter- 
vened. Too loyal and too deeply convinced of the value 
of his cherished view of sound war administration to go 
back on it for a tactical advantage, however tempting, he 
claimed for Lord Egremont " the right to guide his own 
correspondence." He himself, who, he hoped, had not 
lessened his country, had always claimed the right. It was 
no question, he said, of " sole Minister," and in thus dis- 
tinguishing between his idea of ministerial responsibility 
and the spectre of dictatorship, he seized the opportunity 
of repudiating the stories that were and still are current 


about his despotism. In tlie Treasury, he said, in the 
MiHtary, and in the Navy he had never assumed or 
claimed any direction : he had never spoken to the King 
on these heads, but had always applied to the Ministers 
of the several departments. Then, having vindicated his 
theory of war direction, he proceeded moderately to 
support the motion for papers on the ground that their 
production could only strengthen the King's hands by 
showing how patient we had been, and that it was 
impossible for the House to judge what supplies were 
necessary till it knew how we stood with Spain. Yet he 
protested he would not press the motion if told by 
authority it was premature. He concluded by saying 
that he had secret information which placed it beyond 
doubt that Spain meant war, and by pointing out how 
weak and unready she was.^ A gross and violent 
personal attack by truculent Colonel Barre was his 
reward. Disdaining to answer, he dismissed the insult 
with a jest about Red Indians and tomahawks. Eventu- 
ally, on a suggestion that an express from Spain was pro- 
bably even then on the road, the motion was negatived 
without a division.^ 

An express was indeed on its way not only to England, 
but to all the ends of the earth. While they debated 
the crisis had come. The King's messenger had reached 
Madrid with the ultimatum on December oth. Bristol 
saw Wall next day, and repeated his demand for a dis- 

' These frequent allusions of Pitt to information in his possession leave 
little doubt that he had evidence of Spain's intentions bej-ond that which 
was known to the Cabinet from the intercepted Fueutes-Grimaldi corre- 
spondence. The common explanation is that he had obtained it under 
seal of absolute secrecy from George Keith, the attainted Earl Marischal, 
who in 1759 was Frederick's ambassador in Madrid, and that the Earl's 
pardon was his reward. His pardon, however, was signed on May 29, 
1759, and his attainder reversed the following year. 

* Walpole, Memoirs of George III., vol. i. p. 9 1 et seq. 


closure of the treaty. Wall was polite and conciliatory, 
so Bristol said nothing about leaving. Misled by Fuentes's 
reports of the infirmity of the new Government in London, 
decisive action was the last thing Wall expected. Two 
days later he calmly presented Bristol with the King's 
reply, which was to the effect that no further answer could 
be given beyond a memorial which had been despatched 
to Fuentes for deliver}^ to Egremont. Then Bristol plainly 
declared what his instructions were — to demand Avhether 
Spain meant to j oin France, and if an answer were refused 
to leave at once. Wall was astounded. He could scarcely 
believe his ears, and requested Bristol to put his demand 
in writing. This he did, and next day received a cate- 
gorical refusal. On the same day, the 10th, orders Avere 
sent out to seize every British vessel, man-of-war or 
merchantman, in the Spanish ports, with an embargo on 
all Spanish ships, so as to prevent the news of the seizure 
getting abroad. Bristol immediately set about carrying 
out his secret instructions, but he found it no easy 
matter. Every difficulty was thrown in the way of his 
communicating with the admirals. Post-horses were 
even refused him, and it Avas not till he reached the 
Portuguese frontier, nearly at the end of the month, that 
he Avas able to send forward warning to the fleet. 

Saunders Avas at Gibraltar crouchmg for a spring. In 
the middle of November he had sent to Anson a project 
for dealing a death-bloAv to the French Mediterranean 
trade by raiding Marseilles under cover of a feint on 
Minorca. In vicAV of war Avith Spain, it was accompanied 
by another plan for a similar blow on the ships at Cadiz, 
and for the capture of Oran as an equivalent for Minorca 
if that island Avere handed over to Spain. He regretted 
that never having seen either Marseilles or Cadiz he could 
not give a decided opinion as to the practicability of 


his proposals, but he was ready to try so soon as he got 
the word. His information was that the Spaniards had 
ten of the line in Cadiz. He himself, besides his detached 
ships, had fifteen of the line in Gibraltar Bay ready to 
sail at a moment's notice. At the end of the year two 
more joined him with some fireships, but still there was 
no word from Lord Bristol. It was not till January 4th 
that the ambassador's letter, which he had written on 
December 11th to say he was leaving, reached him. It 
was forwarded by Hay, our Minister at Lisbon, and with 
it unhappily came news that ever since the middle of 
December the Spaniards had been hard at work putting 
Cadiz in a state of defence, and that the ships had 
been withdrawn into the inner harbour. Saunders sadly 
recognised that his chance was gone. Seeing at once that 
the only method of performing his containing functions, 
was to assume a purely defensive attitude, he wrote 
home to say he had decided the attack was impracticable 
and that he must confine himself to preventing any con- 
centration of the scattered divisions of the allies, and 
particularly to keeping apart the divisions within the 
Straits and those in the Atlantic. His main preoccupa- 
tion was the Toulon squadron, and his dominant object 
to prevent its getting out of the Mediterranean, For the 
present, however, he knew it was not ready for sea, and 
felt he could attend to the scarcely less important object 
of preventing a junction between the enemy's Atlantic 
divisions. So soon, therefore, as the wind would permit, 
he moved up to the westward to blockade Cadiz, so as to 
prevent its squadron getting out, or anything from the 
northward getting in.^ 

So far, then, as Saunders was concerned, the Spaniards 

1 Saunders to the Admiralty, Dec. 8, 16, 18, 24, 1761, Jan. 8 and 21, 
1762, In-ktttrs, 384. 


had certainly managed well in preventing his striking 
the rapid blow which would so greatly have eased the 
difficulties of his containing position. Elsewhere, how- 
ever, owing to the enterprise of an obscure naval officer, 
they were not so successful. It happened that a certain 
Captain George Johnstone, of his Majesty's sloop Hornet, 
had just captured a smart French privateer off the coast 
of Portugal, from whom he learned of the order of 
December 10th for the seizure of British shipping. He 
immediately carried her into Lisbon, where a few days 
later he ascertained that Spain had declared war. There- 
upon, on his own responsibility, he manned and victualled 
his prize, placed her under the command of his master, 
and sent her away express to Rodney with the news.^ 

London was equally fortunate. In spite of the Spanish 
precautions, Bristol's advices of his departure reached 
home in less than a fortnight, and on Christmas Eve 
orders were issued to all stations to commence hostilities. 
Two days later the Gazette announced a state of war with 
Spain, and on the 29 th Sir Peircy Brett, the officer who 
since 1759 had had charge of the northern section of the 
Channel blockade, was sent down with two more of the 
line and another frigate further to reinforce Saunders. 

The latest information that Bristol had sent home was 
that there was a squadron of eleven of the line in Ferrol 
ready for sea, and that fifteen hundred troops had 
marched to that port to embark for the West Indies. 
In Cadiz were five battalions awaiting final orders for the 
same destination. One regiment had already gone to 
Majorca, and another was on its way, and two vessels 
laden with arms and ammunition had sailed for the West 
Indies from Barcelona. The movement to Majorca might 
of course be merely defensive, or it might indicate a 

' Beatson, vol. ii. p. 531 ; and see infra note, p. 235. 


Spanish occupation of Minorca. The intention of the 
Ferrol squadron was still more uncertain. The general 
belief, however, both in England and Spain, was that it 
threatened a descent on Ireland.^ To Choiseul, however, 
it meant something much more ambitious. He was 
forming in his mind a grandiose plan for a combined 
invasion of England on the familiar lines which have 
failed so often. His complete plan, however, was not 
presented to the Spanish Court till the following April, 
and may be considered later. 

The immediate anxiety of the British Government was 
a squadron of seven of the line and four frigates which 
was lying in Brest ready for sea with some three thousand 
troops on board, and known to be destined for the West 
Indies, and it was believed that the ships in Rochefort 
and the Charente were intended to steal round and 
join it. The Brest squadron was being watched by a 
division of Keppel's fleet consisting of thirteen of the line 
under Captain Matthew Buckle. On December 5 th word 
came home from him that he feared it had given him the 
slip, and warning was at once sent out to Rodney to be 
on his guard. If the escaped squadron appeared towards 
Jamaica he was to send Douglas with at least six of the 
line to reinforce Holmes, an order which must be remem- 
bered as it came to have considerable importance. If, on 
the other hand, it came his own way he might call on 
Holmes for assistance." Next day orders were despatched 
to Keppel recalling five more regiments from Belleisle, 
which with artillery and the dragoons made up four 
thousand five hundred men. He had previously told 
the Government that four of the line and a few cruisers 
would be enough to co-operate with the garrison that 

' Duro, Armada EspaTwUi, vol. vii. p. 40. 

- Admiralty Secretary. Oat-letters {Secret Orders), 1331, Dec. 5. 


would remain, and he was ordered in consequence to 
leave such a squadron on the station and proceed him- 
self to take command off Ushant.^ At the same time, 
since the combined operations in which he had been 
ensjfaored Avere at an end, he was told henceforth to receive 
his orders from the Admiralty and not from the Secretary 
of State. 

The reported escape of the Brest squadron was soon 
known to be a false alarm, but Keppel was by no means 
easy about the blockade. He had been pressing the 
Admiralty with his opinions on the vital necessity of 
speed, pointing out the error of setting foul ships to in- 
tercept clean ones.^ He knew the Rochefort ships were 
ready to sail, and doubted the possibility of the slugs at 
his command preventing their junction with those that 
were still in Brest. His mistrust of the blockade with 
the material at his disposal was too well founded. On 
December 23rd, before ever he could crawl up to his new 
station, the whole Brest squadron, under Monsieur de 
Blenac, gave the slip to Captain Spry, who had succeeded 
Buckle off Ushant, and had made straight for the West 
Indies.^ Even when Keppel reached the station he could 
not hold it. The weather proved quite beyond the en- 
durance of his worn squadron, and the second week of 
January a terrific gale sent the whole of his ships flying 
for any Channel port they could reach, and for the time 
he was practically off the board. 

Once more it was proved, as was to be shown so often 
in the future, how weak a form of war is a prolonged close 
blockade ; how the wear and tear of ships, and the con- 
sequent loss of speed and endurance, even in sailing days, 

1 Ibid., Dec. 6, 1761. 

* Keppel, Life of Keppel, vol. i. p. 336, Keppel to Buckle, Oct. 17, 1761. 

* Rodney to the Admiralty, March 24, 1762. — Mundy, Life of Rodney, 
vol. i. p. 76. 


inevitably gives the enemy his chance sooner or later. 
For a short time it is well. It would serve to keep the 
enemy in and the sea clear for covering or preventing 
a definite oversea operation — that is, for a temporary and 
local command. For permanent command it must always 
be doubtful whether it can compare with an open blockade 
conducted from a good interior position by a fleet that can 
retain its speed and fitness for action, without the demorali- 
sation of absolute inactivity. 

It was these events which had recalled Hervey in the 
midst of his little career of conquest. Rodney had al- 
ready received by Captain Johnstone's prize a copy of the 
embargo order, and news that a state of war had been 
declared in Spain on December 15 th. The transformed 
French prize had all the qualities of her class, and had 
made an extraordinarily quick passage, so that Rodney 
received the warning some time in the middle of February, 
a fortnight or more before an official intimation reached 
him. The news was quickly confirmed by a British 
transport bringing out infantry drafts, Avhich, having put 
into a Spanish port on the way, had narrowly escaped 
seizure herself. Thereupon Rodney threw out his cruisers, 
and before the end of the month Captain Ourry, of the 
Adceon frigate, had captured a " register ship " laden with 
arms and military stores, presumably one of those which 
Bristol had reported as sailing from Barcelona. On the 
last day of the month all doubt was removed by the 
arrival from Antigua of a frigate from home with the 
Admiralty orders to begin hostilities.^ 

^ Beatson (vol. ii. p. 531) says M'Laurin, the Hornet's master, made the 
passage in twenty-three days, and delivered Johnstone's letter to Rodney 
on Jan. 18, that is, just after the landing at Cas Navires. This may well 
be true, though Rodney sent home a despatch next day, and another on 
Feb. 10, without saying a word about it. In his next, however, dated 
Feb. 28, he says he had received the news some time back, and had 
already captured a valuable Spanish prize ; and the Actwon's Log mentions 


Still Rodney did not think it necessary to interrupt 
the work of organising his new conquest in which he was 
engaged off St. Pierre, or to call in his scattered squad- 
rons. Within the week, however, the whole situation 
was changed. On March 5th, three more frigates reached 
him with despatches. One was direct from home, and 
another from Saunders with copies of the orders already 
received. The third had a different and less pleasant 
tale to tell. She was straight from Ushant, sent off in 
hot haste by Spry to inform him of Bl^nac's escape. 
Since the first false alarm had reached him Rodney had 
had a chain of frigates to windward the whole length of 
the Caribbee Islands, on the look-out for the Brest squad- 
ron as well as for Spanish prizes, and he now repeated to 
them his orders for the utmost vigilance. It was now, 
too, he despatched his urgent order recalling Hervey, and 
at the same time sent word to Swanton, who was down at 
Grenada with seven of the line, positive orders to attack 
Blonac if he appeared on his station. As Fort Royal, 
however, was Bl(jnac's probable destination, Swanton 
was further directed, if he had already taken Grenada, to 
join the flag at once with five of the line, so as to enable 
Rodney to form two squadrons each strong enough to 
engage the enemy whether he tried to reach his goal by 
the north or the south end of Martinique. 

Bk'nac, however, was too clever to do either. Having 
no mind to thrust his head into the lion's mouth, he 
warily made the windward side of Martinique near La 
Trinitc, and on March 8th sent an officer ashore for in- 
telligence. Here, early on the 9 th, he was sighted by 
the very frigate by which Spry had sent the warning. 

the capture of a Spanish ship, bound to La Guayra from Cadiz on Feb. 4. 
— Admiralty Secretary, In-letters, 307 ; Captain's Logs, 2. Johnstone and 
M'ljaurin were both made post for the service, and Johnstone governor of 
Pensacolain 17(>.S. -Hardy, List of Captains, 1673-1783. 

1762 BLISNAC disturbs RODNEY 237 

The same afternoon she was seen from Rodney's flag- 
ship off St. Pierre, flying the signal for an enemy's fleet, 
and the admiral immediately signalled to weigh. Un- 
happily it fell calm and he could not stir. The frigate- 
captain came on board and reported that at eight o'clock 
that morning the enemy's squadron, thirteen sail strong, of 
which eight were of the line, were off La Trinitd standing 

The information indicated that it was Bldnac's inten- 
tion to reach Fort Royal round the southern point of 
the island. There Douglas was cruising with a weak 
detachment, and his position was critical. Fortunately 
the wind had now sprung up, and Rodney, who had with 
him six of the line, crowded all sail to the rescue. 
Swanton and Hervey had been given the same point for 
rendezvous, and he made no doubt Bk'nac was delivered 
into his hands. But he was doomed to disappointment. 
After joining Douglas he sailed round the island on the 
windward side, but without finding a trace of his oppo- 
nent. When Blenac had been seen by the British frigate 
he had already ascertained that the island was in British 
hands, and was now on his way northward, heading for 
Cap Francois. His board to the south which the frigate 
had seen had probably been only a ruse. After lying-to 
till midday on the 10th he put before the wind, warned 
perhaps from the shore of Rodney's movement, and after 
running so close to La Trinite that the ofiicer in command 
made ready for an attack, he held away northward to- 
wards Dominica. A day or two after came news from 
Guadeloupe that he had been seen from there steering 
to the westward. There could no longer be room for 
doubt that he was making either for Jamaica or Cap 
Francois, with the probable intention of effecting a pre- 
concerted junction with the Spaniards. Rodney thus 


found himself confronted witli a strategical situation 
which called for all his sagacity and readiness to take 

In Havana he knew that a formidable naval concentra- 
tion had been going on for some time. It was said that 
fourteen of the line were already there, and others were on 
the station. He felt, like Saunders at the other side of 
the ocean, that at all hazards the allied squadrons must be 
prevented from getting together. To stop Blenac reach- 
ing Cap Francois was now impossible, and Swanton and 
Hervey having by this time joined he resolved to return 
to St. Pierre for victuals and water with all speed, and 
then to proceed to the succour of Jamaica. His orders 
under the circumstances that had arisen, it will be re- 
membered, did no more than authorise his detaching 
Douglas to Jamaica. But they had been issued before 
the Spanish declaration of war, and like the fine officer 
he was in his prime, he determined to take the responsi- 
bility of leaving his station for the point of danger. 

As in hot haste he was watering at St. Pierre the crisis 
was intensified, and the course on which he had determined 
made clearer. An urgent express came in from the 
governor and council of Jauiaica, to say they had learned 
from intercepted letters that the island was to be attacked 
by the combined forces of Spain and France, and the 
French officers who were to command were on board 
Blenac 's fleet. Blenac had reached Cap Francois on the 
15 th, that is about the same time that Rodney had re- 
turned to water at St. Pierre. Captain Carteret of the 
Merlin sloop had been watching the port as usual, when 
that night he suddenly found himself close to the French 
fleet. Some of them gave chase, and seeing no escape 
Carteret, as a last hope, began signalling with lights and 
guns, as though the British battle-fleet were within call. 


Trite as was the device, it succeeded. It was no part of 
Blenac's game to fight single-handed. He was fortunate 
enough not to find the Jamaica squadron barring his en- 
trance to Cap Francois. The chasing ships were recalled, 
and the squadron went crowding into port in such a 
hurry that a sixty-four took the ground and was lost.^ 

Thus threatened, the Jamaica authorities felt compelled 
to urge Rodney and Monckton to send them relief. To 
add to the trouble, their demand was accompanied by 
a letter from Captain Forrest, the senior oflficer on the 
station, to say that his admiral, the gallant and resource- 
ful Holmes, was dead — a loss which may have accounted 
for Cap Francois having been left open. 

All shadow of doubt as to what his duty was was now 
removed from Rodney's mind. Not only did he resolve 
to move at once to the Jamaica station Avith every ship 
that could be spared from the Caribbee Islands, but he 
pressed Monckton to let him take a body of troops as 
well. In spite of the admiral's importunity, Monckton 
in great distress refused. He did not, he said, consider 
himself sufficiently authorised to detach troops from 
his command without orders from England. For this 
refusal he was afterwards blamed by his commander-in- 
chief, Amherst, who wrote to him that he ought to have 
assented, in view of the Spanish concentration at Havana. 
In the general's defence, however, it must be said, that 
whereas Rodney had definite orders to make a detach- 
ment to Jamaica if it were threatened by Blenac, Monck- 
ton had not. Still, with this evidence of what was in 
the mind of the Home Government, Monckton, had he 
been a less commonplace officer than he was, might well 
have decided " to march to the sound of the guns." Still, 
for all his fine soldiership, he would not be persuaded, 

' Beatson, vol. ii. p. 536. 


and Rodney went off with practically his whole fleet. 
" I flatter myself," wrote Rodney in his despatch, " their 
lordships will not be displeased with me if I take the 
liberty to construe my instructions in such a manner 
as to think myself authorised and obliged to succour 
any of his Majesty's colonies that may be in danger ; 
and shall therefore hasten to the succour of Jamaica with 
ten sail of the line, three frigates, and three bombs." 
And he concluded by saying that it was his intention, 
unless he received orders to the contrary, which he ob- 
viously expected, to return to his station before the hur- 
ricane months, leaving a sufl&cient force behind him for 
the protection of Jamaica. After making all deductions, 
it was a fine resolve, and should live as a classical 
example of a seamanlike interpretation of orders, and 
of the true spirit of command.^ 

When Rodney penned his despatch, he had already 
reached Antigua. By the division of his force which 
he intended to make, he would, with Holmes's squadron, 
have perhaps twenty of the line, a force about equal to 
the combined squadrons of the enemy, and amply suf- 
ficient by defensive action to prevent an oversea military 
expedition. At the same time he would be able to send 
back Douglas with eight of the line, which would be 
sufficient to deal with Blenac if he doubled back, or with 
the Rochefort squadron if it came out. To Forrest, 
as acting commander on the Jamaica station, he wrote 
that he was to meet him with his whole squadron at 
Cape Nicholas in the Windward Passage, as it was his 
intention to get between the enemy's squadrons and 
blockade Bk'nac wherever he found him. This done he 

» Rodney to the Admiralty, March 24, In-letters, 307 (Printed by Mundy, 
i. p. 80); Amherst to Egremont, May 12, S.P. Colonial (America and West 
Indies), 97 ; and c/. Beatson, vol. ii. p. 530 et seq. 


went on to St. Christopher's, where he meant finally 
to divide his force. He reached it on March 26, but 
only to sufifer another bitter disappointment, for there 
he was met by Captain Elphinstone, of the Richmond 
frigate, with fresh orders direct from home. 

They told him that a secret expedition was coming out 
by the middle of April under Sir George Pocock of 
Indian fame and the Earl of Albemarle. He was to 
be superseded in the supreme command, but with a 
handsome apology it was explained that the importance 
of the enterprise demanded an officer of high rank at 
its head. The actual objective was not disclosed. Rodney 
was merely informed that the intention was to make an 
impression on the Spanish colonies and everything must 
give way to it. Even if Martinique were not entirely 
conquered, all further operations must be suspended. 
Rodney himself was to be under Pocock's orders, and was 
to devote himself to preparing for the " grand expedition." 
He had strict orders himself to repair to Martinique to 
prepare transports for Monckton's force to take its part, 
and to organise a division of ten of the line, whose 
captains were junior to Swanton, for special service with 
the expedition. To leave no room for independent judg- 
ment, the order concluded in the most stringent form. 
" As you must be sensible of the great importance of these 
orders it is unnecessary for us to add any motives to 
enforce the most punctual and expeditious obedience 
thereto." ^ 

Even so it was beyond Rodney's nature to obey. Strict 
as were his orders, he could not bring himself to abandon 
his move, and at this point his conduct, which up to then 
most men will praise, becomes more doubtful. There was 
within his knowledge something upon which the Home 

1 In-laters (Secret Orders), 1332, Feb. 5. 


Government had not counted. The Brest squadron was 
in Cap Francjois, bent on forming a junction with the 
Spaniards at Havana. Strategy cried aloud with a voice 
that seemed to drown all other considerations that it 
should be kept there, and Rodney could not shut his 
ears. On the other hand, he certainly should have 
remembered that there was much in the mind of the 
Government which was concealed from him, and he knew 
they were not unaware of Blenac's escape. There was a 
new war plan on foot, the details of which had been kept 
from him, and to which he was strictly enjoined to make 
himself subservient. Under such circumstances it may 
be doubted whether an officer is ever justified in acting 
on his own initiative, however plausible it may appear on 
the spot, when such initiative involves a clear departure 
from the main lines of the war plan, so far as it is dis- 
closed to him. Yet this is what Rodney did. For him 
to leave his station himself was now impossible. The 
orders were too imperative for that. But in spite of his 
plain instructions to have a squadron under Swanton ready 
for Pocock when he arrived, he decided that Douglas 
should still go on in accordance with the discretion his 
original orders allowed. While he, therefore, returned to 
Martinique, Douglas, with ten of the line and Hervey for 
his second, held on for Jamaica. 

In Port Royal, which Douglas reached on April 12, he 
found nine sail. Here, too, he heard that the Brest 
squadron, now reduced to six of the line and three 
frigates, was in Cap Francois, and that any intention 
there may have been of an attack on Jamaica from 
Havana had been abandoned, owing, it was believed, to 
the dispositions which Rodney had maxie. He also heard 
that more troops were expected down from North 
America to join the " grand expedition," and had sight of 


the orders which had been sent to Holmes, in view of the 
coming expedition. In these the dead admiral was 
ordered to assist in raising five hundred negroes to act 
with Albemarle's troops and to await Pocock's instruc- 
tions at Port Royal with all his squadron ready to sail. 
The orders ended with the same stringent clause as 
Rodney's.^ But Douglas was as little atfected as his 
chief. The danger of the American contingent seemed 
to him to justify the freest interpretation. Instead, there- 
fore, of obeying he took a leaf out of Rodney's book, and 
immediately sent Hervey away with seven of the line 
and two frigates to take station at Tortuga, an island 
which lies just to leeward of Cap Francois, so as to cover 
the passage of the North American transports, and deal 
with Blenac if he attempted to come out.- 

Rodney himself returned to St. Pierre. There he 
found Monckton had been concentrating every man that 
could safely be recalled from the island garrisons. The 
unhappy admiral likewise busied himself with transport 
arrangements according to his new instructions. Still he 
could not be content to see his squadron idle, and in spite 
of the order to undertake no new operations, and his 
special directions about Swanton, he despatched him with 
the greatest part of his remaining ships to cruise on the 
Spanish main. 

It may be that the chance of rich prizes was not without 
influence in this decision.^ There was, however, a good 
strategical reason which was quite in accord with his other 
dispositions. For in Cartagena lay a Spanish squadron 
of three of the line and a frigate, which might well be 

» Secret Orders, 1332, Feb. 5. 

* Douglas to the Admiralty, May 8, In-lctters, 307. 

* Rodney to the Admiralty, May 31. — Mundy, vol. i. p. 02. There he 
only says, "Mr. Swanton has rejoined me from the Spanish main, where 
I sent him to cruise for some time, but without success." 


destined to form part of a general concentration against 
Jamaica, and which, therefore, had to be watched as well 
as Blenac in Cap Francois.^ Even if we assume this to 
have been his intention, and he nowhere says so, the 
responsibility he took in sending a squadron so far to 
leeward was very serious. He was still further scattering 
the fleet he had been told to concentrate, and surely with- 
out sufficient justification. 

Such cases are very hard to judge. Nothing is more 
admired with us than a fearlessness of responsibility and 
a sagacious readiness to interpret orders in the light of 
actual conditions on the spot. Yet nothing is more 
dangerous. Where is the line to be drawn ? It is 
impossible to say. Yet the present case would seem 
to indicate that it lies somewhere between Rodney's first 
resolution and his second. His first impulse to protect 
Jamaica it is difficult not to applaud ; but what of his 
second after his new orders were received ? He knew 
that he was to be superseded, and superseded because 
of his inexperience and the impossibility of his knowing 
what was in the mind of the Government. So much he 
was plainly told. He knew, moreover, that he was to 
be subservient to a new plan of campaign for which 
another man was responsible, and which had not been 
disclosed to him. Even the objective he could only 
guess. It may well be doubted whether, under such 
circumstances, any local considerations could justify the 
wide liberty Rodney took with his plain orders. Surely 
he should have considered that what he know of the 
local conditions to justify his action was insignificant 
compared with his almost entire ignorance of the new- 
plan of campaign. The special knowledge of the 

1 Duro, Armada Espanola, vol. vii. p. 43. There is no actual evidence 
that Rodney knew of this squadron. 


Admiralty was out of all proportion greater than his 
own, and, in such cases, simple obedience like Monckton's 
seems the better course. At best, Rodney's conduct on 
this occasion must stand for an example of latitude of 
interpretation being stretched to its extreme limit. 



In the attitude which each officer had chosen to assume, 
Rodney and Monckton awaited the coming of the " grand 
expedition." Its objective, as none could doubt, was 
Havana. It is said the conception was Pitt's, and that, 
like Drake in 1585, he was bent on stabbing Spain at 
once in the heart of her colonial power and wealth. 
However this may be, the general design was certainly 
Anson's, founded on information furnished by Admiral 
Sir Charles Knowles, whom we have met with as second 
in command of the Rochefort expedition. During the 
late war, he had himself conducted operations against 
Cuba, had made an unsuccessful attack on Santiago, 
and had fought an indecisive action before Havana. 
Since then he had been for four years governor of 
Jamaica, and, as late as 1756, in the last year of his 
office, had visited Havana and been entertained by the 
Spanish governor. Having kept his eyes open, he was 
able to provide a detailed report on the defences and 
general condition of the place, and to indicate exactly 
the points at which it was most easily assailable. To 
his report he added a strong opinion as to the feasibility 
of the enterprise, and the unparalleled advantages that 
must ensue from its success.^ 

• Add. MSS., 23,678. This unnoticed document is in the form of an 

anonymous pamphlet, but apparently Knowles never published it. He 

says that after all was over the Journal of the Siege was submitted to 

him to revise before publication. He seized the occasion, after his cross- 



Thus fortified, Anson had little difficulty in over- 
coming the resistance in his way. In spite of the 
determined opposition of Bedford and the half-hearted 
doubts of the Newcastle set, the new Government took 
up his idea with commendable promptitude. It was 
only at Christmas, as we have seen, that Bristol's 
departure was known in London, yet, by the first week 
in January, at a meeting of the Secret Committee to 
settle the war plan, all was decided. Bedford, who was 
in open opposition to continuing the war at all, was not 
summoned. There were present Devonshire, Anson, 
Ligonier, Grenville, and Newcastle, with the two Secre- 
taries of State, Bute and Egremont. " We began," wrote 
Newcastle, " with my Lord Anson's project of attacking 
Havana, and, after hearing the facility with which his 
lordship and Lord Ligonier apprehended there was in 
doing it, we all unanimously ordered the undertaking." ^ 

grained manner, to draw up an intemperate invective on the whole conduct 
of the operations and Anson's plan of campaign, being particularly bitter 
against the soldiers. No great importance need be attached to it. J""or 
all his many good qualities he was constitutionally wrong-headed and 
quarrelsome, and by this time he was thoroughly embittered and a con- 
firmed pamphleteer. After Vernon's failure at Cartagena in 1741 he had 
written a similar attack on the army ; his action off Havana had led to an 
unprecedented crop of duels and court-martials ; and, after Rochefort, he 
had perversely taken upon himself to defend General Mordaunt, and so 
offensive was the pamphlet he wrote both to Pitt and Anson that he was 
deprived of the command of the "Grand Fleet," which he then held, and 
was no more employed at sea. 

The work submitted to Knowles for Tewision v/a,s An AutherUic Journal 
of the Siege of Havana, by an Officer, 1762. It is from the military point of 
view, and is the chief authority for the expedition. With Knowles's MS. 
there is another Journal by " the chief engineer," Patrick MacKellar, who 
had served in the same capacity at the taking and the defence of Quebec, 
and at Martinique, and as second at Louisbourg. It was published in the 
Gazette, Sept. 1762. 

1 Hardwicke clearly attributed the design to Anson. In the notes of his 
speech on the Peace, where he reaches the question of Havana, he writes, 
" Stop a little, and here do justice to Lord Anson." — Parliamentary History, 
vol. XV. p. 1254, note. Cf. also -post p. 2()1, note. Writing to Newcastle, 

248 HAVANA 1762 

Then Egremont brought up Colonel Draper's design for 
taking Manilla with the troops already in India in concert 
with the East India Company. This also, " in a manner," 
says Newcastle, was agreed to. Then followed the thorny 
question as to whether it was possible, in view of the 
demands of the new war, to continue the war in 
Germany. On this point no agreement, even "in a 
manner," was possible. It was destined, indeed, in a 
few months to break up the Government.^ 

The new offensive movement, once decided on, was 
pushed forward with energy. Anson was still at his 
post, spilling the last drops of his devoted life in the 
service of the country which owed him so much. He 
had always protested the fleet was unequal to a war 
with both France and Spain. With the last glow of 
his energy, as it smouldered out, he proved it was not ; 
but the effort killed him. Pocock's final orders were 
issued on February 18th, and they were the last he ever 
signed. After that he broke up, and, early in June, 
before he could know the result of his work, he was 

Pocock's appointment was certainly his work. As we 
shall see, the plan of campaign demanded for its conduct 
a man of the highest powers, not only as a fighting 
admiral, but as a navigator and seaman, and from both 
points of view no better choice could have been made. 
Boscawen was dead ; Hawke was wanted for the Channel 

Oct. 2, on receiving news of the fall of Havana, he says: "It does the 
greatest honour to the memory of poor Lord Anson, who had so great a 
part in the formation and direction of it." — Newcastle Papers, 32,943. 

1 Newcastle to Hardwicke, Jan. 10, NeiocasUe Papers, 32,933. 

* Writing on July 22 a private letter to Anson, Rodney begins: "It 
was with infinite concern I heard of your lordship's bad state of health, 
and I most sincerely hope ere this it is perfectly restored." — Mundy, 
vol. i. p. 93. He had been ill since the beginning of the year. — Walpole, 
George III., vol. i. p. 130, and Newcastle Papers, ibid, passim. 


Fleet ; Saunders could not be spared from the all- 
important Mediterranean command ; and, after them, no 
one could show so fine a record of fleet actions as 
Pocock, and he had served as commander-in-chief on 
the Leeward Islands station during the late war. Keppel, 
though still only a commodore, was selected for the 
second post, as he richly deserved, and was given a 
special commission to be second-in-command and Pocock's 
successor in case of his death. It was not quite fair to 
Rodney, whose knowledge of the theatre and well-earned 
success should have marked him for the second post. 
But his success was not yet known, and, besides in 
Keppel's appointment, though as an old " Centurion " 
he was probably a 'persoTia grata to Anson, we perhaps see 
traces of an influence which was flagrantly evident in 
the military command. 

At the War Office there was no Anson to resist court 
and political favouritism. The Duke of Cumberland was 
again in the ascendant. The young King had a high 
regard for his uncle, and, though he held no office, he was 
the real military adviser of the throne. So the unhappy 
game, which Pitt had stopped with so much difficulty, 
began again. The old Duke was incorrigible. After the 
Martinique expedition had sailed, he had told Newcastle 
he approved of the design, but not of the admiral, the 
general, or the number of troops.^ Whether he thought 
the troops were too many or too few is not clear, but 
what he meant about the general became painfully 
evident. In his eyes no one could be fit for such a 
command who had not been on his staff". He believed, 
no doubt honestly enough, that his " family " embraced 
all the real military talent in the country, and highest 
in favour in his " family " stood Keppel's eldest brother, 

* Newcastle to Devonshire, Oct. 31, 1761, Neiocastle Papers, ;i2,9;5(i. 

2 50 HAVANA 1762 

the young Earl of Albemarle. He was not yet forty, 
and had been a member of the Duke's household ever 
since he was sixteen, and had served on his staff at 
Fontenoy and Culloden, Whatever his hereditary 
abilities for command, he had never held one, and 
whatever knowledge of his profession he had acquired 
as the Duke's aide-de-camp he had never proved it. 
By Wolfe, with all his admiration for the Duke, 
Albemarle was set down as a parade officer, whose 
soldiership consisted in a taste for showy uniforms. 

For second in command there was General George 
Eliott, better known as Lord Heathfield, the famous 
defender of Gibraltar. His record during the war was 
very high. In the expedition against Cherbourg and 
St. Malo, he had been remarked for his soldier-like efforts 
to set right the mistakes of the incompetent quarter- 
master-general,^ and ever since he had been commanding 
his regiment in Germany and winning golden opinions 
from Prince Ferdinand, The two divisional generals 
were La Fausille and Albemarle's younger brother, 
William Keppel. Thus no less than three of that 
favoured family were given the chance of a lion's share 
in the enormous booty that was confidently expected 
from the expedition, while the men on the spot, like 
Haviland and Rollo, who had borne the heat and burden 
of the day and made themselves masters of amphibious 
warfare, had to be content with brigades. The only 
redeeming feature in the staff, besides Eliott, was the 
appointment of Colonel Guy Carleton to the important 
post of quarter-master-general. He had been Wolfe's 
favourite officer, and, in spite of the old King's vehement 
opposition, Pitt had insisted on his having him in the 
same post for the Quebec expedition. He was fresh 

^ Stop ford- SackeviUe MSS. (Hist. MSS. Com.), IX. iii. 72a. 


from the successful command of a brigade at Belleisle, 
and, as he also had been of the Duke's family, there was 
now no difficulty about it. 

It is usually said that considerable delay occurred in 
getting the expedition away. It is certainly true that, 
owiner to the hesitation of the new Government in de- 
daring war, preparations began a little late. But the 
truth is that when once the decision Avas taken, the 
matter was pushed through with an energy and success 
that Pitt himself could not have surpassed. The feat 
of the new administration is all the more remarkable if 
we consider the difficulties it had to overcome from the 
nervousness of the older Ministers and the vastness of 
the whole plan, of which the Havana expedition Avas 
only a part. Newcastle soon became alarmed at the 
scale on which it was being prepared, for it was be- 
coming every day more evident that assistance of some 
kind would have to be sent to Portugal. In every war 
we had had with Spain the security of our ancient ally 
had always been a serious preoccupation. Apart from 
the importance of our commercial interests, which the 
famous Methuen treaty had set up, Lisbon was almost 
essential to maintaining our naval position in the Medi- 
terranean, and especially so since the loss of Minorca. 
At the moment, owing to the earthquake at Lisbon 
and other causes, Portugal was particularly weak, and 
one of the motives which had hardened the heart of 
Spain to declaring war was always supposed to be the 
prospect of seizing it, as the Duke of Alva had done 
for Philip II. in 1580. Choiseul quite approved the 
idea. In the eyes of both France and Spain, Portugal 
was little better than a British colony, and it seemed 
obviously to offer the necessary scope for bringing 
military pressure to bear upon the common enemy in 

252 HAVANA 1762 

exactly the same way that Hanover did in Northern 

So certain was the Conrt of Lisbon of what to expect 
that Mello, who was then Portuguese Minister in London, 
was already pressing for assistance. What he asked 
was twelve thousand foot, three or four thousand horse, 
guns and arms for the whole Portuguese army, and 
a complete staif to organise and command it. Such 
a succour was quite out of the question, at least for 
the present ; but he had been promised half the foot 
he asked, a regiment of light horse and twenty thou- 
sand stand of arms. Mello was not content, and pro- 
tested if the whole did not come before May, his master 
must submit. Newcastle pressed the point on Bute, and 
Bute would only say that he would probably be able to 
do what was wanted, as he had no intention of support- 
ing the war in Germany. This, of course, shut New- 
castle's mouth. It was a price he was not prepared to 
pay, and in the old feeble spirit he began to tease to 
have the Havana expedition diverted to Lisbon. His 
suggestions were treated almost with contempt. " A 
most expensive, hazardous expedition to the Havana," 
he wrote in despair, " when both ships and men are 
wanted elsewhere. A wild-goose chase (as I now under- 
stand), afterwards after Mexico, St. Augustine and God 
knows what, and the whimsical plan of expeditions 
going on faster than ever. Portugal is also to be 
defended at a vast expense. God knows from whence 
and how." ^ 

The strain of this aspect of the war must have been 
very great, but Grenville at least was too good a pupil of 
Pitt's to allow anything to distract his attention from 
the main attack. He and Bute had quiie got the upper 

^ Newcastle Papers, Jan. 10, 32,923, and Feb. 11 and 12, 32,934. 


hand, and, so far from relaxing their concentration on 
Havana, they persisted at all hazards in massing upon it 
every man which Cumberland and Ligonier considered 
necessary to ensure success. Important as it was to 
control the Bay of Biscay and to attract French troops 
from the Spanish frontier, they resolved to reduce the 
garrison of Belleisle to its lowest defensive point, and 
even, if necessary, to abandon it altogether. Early in 
December, as we have already seen, five more battalions 
had been called home to take the place of an equivalent 
number added to Albemarle's force. Thus when at last 
they sailed, Albemarle had with him over four thousand 
men.^ Nor was this all. Immediately after the troops 
arrived from Belleisle, orders were despatched to Amherst 
in America to provide a further contingent, and to Col- 
ville to arrange for their transport and escort to Cape 
St. Nicholas, where they were to meet Pocock, or to 
Havana if he was not there." In this way it was cal- 
culated that, with Monckton's men already on the 
spot, the force available in the West Indies would be 
some sixteen or seventeen thousand men, which, after 
providing for the garrisons of the islands, would give 
Albemarle about fourteen thousand for the main attack. 
Finally, Pocock got away on March 6, a month later 
than it should have been, but still well in time. He 
took out five more of the line, and, though this was two 
less than was intended, it would bring the whole naval 
force in the West Indies up to thirty-four of the line, 
and about as many cruisers. 

Even this great effort did not exhaust the energy of 

' The troops were recalled on Dec. fi. Admiralty Secretary, Out-lettcrs, 
1331. Hodgson arrived at Spithead with them on Jan. 10. — Hodgson to 
Townshend, Jan. 10, W.O. In-lcltcrs. Only one of the Belleisle regiments, 
the 9th (Whitmore's), went out with Albemarle. 

* Admiralty Secretary, Out-lettcrs (Secret Orders), 1332, Jan. 13, 1762. 

2 54 HAVANA 1762 

Grenville. Colonel Draper's project for the capture of 
Manilla, which Newcastle thought had been only "in a 
manner " agreed upon, was put in motion without any 
further regard to him. At all costs the new men were 
determined to recover the mistake they had made by 
rivalling the exploits of the man they had supplanted. 
Before January was out the necessary orders had been 
signed, and Draper was taking them out to Steevens. 
His instructions were to arrange a joint expedition with 
the King's and the East India Company's officers for the 
capture of Manilla. The idea was still commerce destruc- 
tion. The Ministers' aim apparently was to paralyse 
Spanish trade at both its main sources, and thus induce 
the new enemy to see the wisdom of abandoning her 
ally. Permanent conquest was certainly not in con- 
templation ; for Steevens was instructed, after taking 
Manilla, to establish a settlement in the independent 
island of Mindanao, at the opposite extremity of the 
Philippine group, " which could be kept after the peace." ^ 
The point, though generally overlooked, is of some im- 
portance, not only for a correct understanding of the 
nature of the war in the Far East, but also for rightly 
judging the manner in which Manilla was dealt with in 
making peace. 

Vast and wide-flung as were these offensive move- 
ments, they were not permitted to prejudice the defensive 
part of the plan to which Pitt had always attached so 
much importance. Grenville, with Anson's devoted help, 
was equal, in spite of the strain upon the resources of the 
country, to covering the whole with a series of blockades 
extending from Dunkirk to Gibraltar. The system upon 
which it was done is of the highest interest, as represent- 
ing the developed ideas of naval strategy which had 

1 Secret Orders, 1332, Jan. 25. 


ripened during the war. It is the last word of Anson's 
school, and the full consideration it deserves can best be 
given when we come to consider the counter-strokes 
which the enemy contemplated, and which the blockade 
was designed to prevent. For the present it is enough 
to remember that it existed, while we follow the fortunes 
of Pocock and Albemarle. 

On April 20, forty-live days out, but well up to time, 
Pocock reached Barbadoes with his five of the line, thirty 
transports, and nearly as many store-ships. Here he 
learnt of the capture of Martinique, and that Rodney, 
according to instructions, had appointed Gas Navires Bay 
as the best point for the rendezvous. Stores were also 
ready, which enabled him to complete to six months 
victuals. Having taken them on board he sailed at once, 
and reached Gas Navires Bay on the 25 th. Monckton's 
transports were all there ready to sail with the troops on 
board, but fleet there was none, and Pocock's feelings 
may easily be imagined. 

As instructed by his secret orders, he had of course 
expected to find Rodney's whole squadron, with a special 
division of ten of the line, under Swanton, ready to join 
his flag.^ What he did find was nothing but Rodney's 
own flagship, the Marlborough, with three other ships of 
the line, and three " fifties " whose condition demanded 
their being sent home to refit with the next convoy. It 
was no more than the security of the island required, 
and Pocock was aghast. To add to his vexation, Rodney 
sent off word that he was down with fever at St. Pierre 
and could not come ofl" to pay his respects. The anger 
of the new commander-in-chief was pardonable ; for, in 
consequence of what Rodney had done, he found himself 

1 Secret Orders, 1332, Feb. 18; Rodney to the Admiralty, May 31.— 
Mundy, vol. i. p. 88. 

2 56 HAVANA 1762 

confronted with a situation which must have looked 
almost desperate. 

The information awaiting him was that in Havana the 
Spaniards had a fleet of twenty of the line, and that the 
Brest squadron had got into Cap Francois, but whether it 
was still there or not was unknown. He had therefore 
to conduct a combined expedition over an uncommanded 
sea actually in the face of two fleets, with the least of 
which he was barely equal. Nor was this all. The 
anxieties of commerce protection were almost as great. 
For at St. Kitts lay some fifty sail of the outward-bound 
Jamaica convoy, with two more of the line waiting to 
proceed across the danger zone under his protection, 
while at Kingston was gathering the first homeward- 
bound convoy, which he was charged to see safely on its 
way. The problem presented was about as diflficult as 
a man could have to face, and Rodney had entirely upset 
the design as it had been planned at home. Anson had 
based the whole operation regularly on a naval concentra- 
tion outside the danger area, but, as the harassed Admiral 
wrote home, Rodney had scattered his units so widely 
that it was impossible to order them to close upon him 
at Martinique. Rodney had committed him to a concen- 
tration at Cape St. Nicholas, and from this there was 
no escape. The way in which he finally solved the 
problem presents one of the most instructive strategical 
combinations in the whole war. 

There was one important consideration — and Anson 
had certainly counted upon it to some extent — which 
rendered the problem less difficult than it appeared, and 
went far to justify Rodney's distribution. A concentra- 
tion of the allied fleets was by no means a simple matter. 
In the first place, two allied squadrons are seldom, if ever, 
the same thing strategically as two divisions of one fleet. 


It will rarely happen but that they have opposing in- 
terests drawing them in opposite directions, and hardly 
ever is it easy for them to agree as to which of several 
risks is the lesser one to accept. This was markedly so 
in the present case. Both the hostile admirals, and 
particularly Blenac, who had express orders on the 
subject, counted upon a concentration, but each was 
naturally anxious that it should be effected at a point 
which Avould best cover the interests of his own 
country. Blenac, who had left France before war with 
Spain was declared, or immediately expected, had come 
to save what he could of the French islands. Don Juan 
de Prado Porto Carrero, the Spanish Captain-General, on 
his part, was strictly charged with the defence of Havana. 
He had with him not twenty of the line, as reported to 
Pocock, but twenty sail, of which only twelve were of the 
line. There were also' three of the line at Santiago at 
the opposite end of the island, and one or two at Vera 
Cruz, the port of Mexico. They were all under the 
command of Don Gutierre de Hevia, Marques del Real 
Transporte, who had come out with Prado as commander- 
in-chief of the American squadrons. His orders were, after 
the true Spanish model, to keep the Havana squadron 
concentrated and within the port ready for any emergency, 
and not to risk needless sorties.^ These at least were the 
last instructions which he and Prado had received, and 
they were nearly six months old. When war was certain, 
later orders had been sent out, but, owing to Captain 
Johnstone's smart warning to Rodney, he had been able 
to intercept them. The Milford, of 16 guns, fell in 
with the Aviso, that was carrying them, off Cape Tiburon, 
the westernmost point of St. Domingo, and after fighting 
her all day he forced her to strike. The commander, of 

^ Duro, vol. vii. p. 43. 'J'liey were dated Nov. 24. 


258 HAVANA 1762 

course, sunk his despatches, and nothing ever reached 
Havana except a copy of the Madrid Gazette containing 
the declaration of war.^ 

Added to these considerations there was in the way of 
a concentration the further difficulty of the prevailing 
weather conditions, and on these Anson certainly counted. 
Though it was easy enough for Blenac to run down to 
Havana, it was very difficult for He via to beat up to Cap 
Fran9ois. Rodney and Douglas, of course, thoroughly 
appreciated the situation, and, knowing there was little 
chance of Hevia's attempting to get to Blenac, had taken 
care that Blenac should not get to Hevia. When Prado 
and Hevia came out from Spain they had a squadron of 
six of the line, and Blenac had securely expected them to 
call at Cap Francois. Keenly disappointed, he was now 
urging them to come to his help. He informed them 
that Hervey's squadron was before the port, and that if 
Hevia would only come it might easily be surprised and 
destroyed. Then together they might take the offensive 
and strike an important blow. But Prado and Hevia, 
entrenched in their defensive orders, would not move. 

Under these circumstances a concentration at Cape 
St. Nicholas, although within the theatre of operations, 
was scarcely , beyond the limit of legitimate risk. In 
any case, it had to be done, and the day after Pocock 
reached Martinique he sent off an express to Douglas 
to meet him there with all the Jamaica squadron, which, 
according to his instructions, he believed was awaiting 
his orders in Port Royal. There was plenty of time, 
for Monckton's arrangements did not please Albemarle, 
and he spent the best part of a fortnight reorganising 

! ^ Ihid., p. 45. Beatson (vol. iii. p. 531) -says the British vessel was 
"tender to the Dublin" which was Douglas's flagship. If so, she must 
have been sent on special service into these waters. 


the whole of the transport disposition that had been 
made, getting more troops from Dominica and fitting 
out horse transports. It is clear every one was in a 
bad temper over what had been done. Pocock found 
relief for his feelings in taking away Rodney's flagship. 
Owing to the scattering of the fleet, so he informed the 
Admiralty, he could not possibly do without the Marl- 
borough, and to Rodney's intense disgust he bundled all 
his staff into a sixty-four. By this means, with the tAvo 
ships of the line which were waiting at St. Kitts, he was 
able to bring his own battle squadron up to eight sail, 
that is, superior to what he believed Blenac's to be, and 
on May 6 th, after having sent forward orders for the 
convoy to meet him at Basse Terre Road, in St. Kitts, 
he sailed on his perilous enterprise. 

The reason why the final concentration was to be at 
Cape St. Nicholas, that is, in the Windward Passage 
between St. Domingo and Cuba, brings us to the most 
brilliant point in Anson's design. It was not, of course, 
on the ordinary route from the Windward Islands to 
Havana. That lay dead to leeward, past Jamaica and 
through the Yucatan Channel, with an easy beat back 
of some two hundred and fifty miles with the current 
along the north-western end of Cuba. The natural plan, 
therefore, and the one the enemy would expect, was a 
concentration at Port Royal, with a squadron held back 
off Cap Francois to blockade Blcnac and cover the line 
of passage from North America as Hervey was then 
doing. It was indeed a strategical certainty that so long 
as the Spaniards saw no concentration at Jamaica they 
Avould be lulled into comparative security. 

Now, surprise is of the essence of the class of opera- 
tions to which the present one belonged, and had there 
been any doubt of it there was the fine old precedent of 

26o HAVANA 1762 

Drake's attempt on San Juan de Puerto Rico in 1595, the 
last and perhaps boldest of his dazzling career. That 
master of daring expedients had not been content to reach 
his objective by the ordinary route from the westward 
through the Mona Passage, but, in order to effect a 
surprise, had performed what was then regarded as the 
incredible feat of carrying his whole force through the 
uncharted labyrinth of the Virgin Archipelago, and had 
sprung upon his prey from the eastward. Anson, whose 
name had been made in reviving Drake's glory in the 
South Sea, must have known the story well. Indeed, a 
declaration of war with Spain had always been the signal 
for reopening the pages of Drake's life, and Anson knew 
that here was a chance of repeating his exploit at Puerto 

To Havana, as to Puerto Rico, there existed another 
route from the eastward and windward. It lay through 
the Old Bahama Channel, and as the similar route 
through the Virgins had never been used till Drake 
sounded his way through it, so the Old Bahama Channel, 
from its intricacies and dangers, was regarded as im- 
practicable for the unweatherly fleets of those days, and 
was never used by the Spaniards except for quite small 
craft. But Anson had in his possession — booty probably 
of his adventurous youth — an old Spanish chart of it, 
and it convinced him that under such a man as Pocock, 
a British fleet could pass. It was at least too fine a 
stroke of strategy not to try. Not only would the line 
•of advance be wholly unexpected, but it would be 
quicker. It involved no beat back, it was before the 
wind the whole way, and it was much shorter. While, 
therefore, it would ensure a surprise, it would also 
mean a great gain of time before the hurricanes set in. 
And, over and above all this, it would permit a sudden 


and unlooked-for concentration interposed between the 
two bases of the enemy ; it would provide for the rapid 
junction of the American contingent, and it would prob- 
ably prevent the Spanish and the French fleets joining 
hands. Whether Rodney had divined this brilliant con- 
ception is not clear. It was certainly not communicated 
to him in the orders he received to prepare for it. But 
it will be seen that the dispositions he had made did not 
really prejudice its execution. So far as they had gone 
they indicated an attack on St. Domingo rather than 
Havana, and they had prevented the allied junction, 
which it was an integral part of the design to stop.^ 

Such, then, was the adventure on which Pocock was 
proceeding. In two days he was ofif St. Kitts, where 
the two ships of the line and the Jamaica convoy were 
awaiting him, and he found himself in charge, all told, of 
some two hundred sail. In the transports Albemarle, 
besides military stores, and his artillery and engineers, 
had five brigades of infantry, numbering nearly twelve 
thousand men, and over two thousand more were to 
come from North America and Jamaica.^ With this 
unwieldly armada the admiral proceeded without stop- 
ping, and reaching through the Mona Passage, so as to 
keep to windward of St. Domingo, made Cape St. Nicholas 
on May I7th. Here was awaiting him a letter from 
Douglas, saying that his orders had been received, that 
he Avas about to join him with nine of the line, and that 

1 Sir Charles Knowles roundly condemns what he calls Lord Anson's 
••obstinacy" in persisting in his approach by the Bahama Chani^. 
Thereby, he contends, he gravely imperilled the whole force merely'^to 
save a week's time. He entirely ignores the advantage of surprise and 
interposition between the Spanish and French fleets. 

* In his despatch from St. Nicholas, May 2G, Pocock says he had I GO 
sail of transports, &c., 46 of the Jamaica convoy, and 13 of his own 
squadron. It is possible he meant that KJO included them all, but tbe 
sense seems rather as stated in the text. — In-letters, 307. 

262 HAVANA 1762 

he had also given the rendezvous to Hervey, who with 
seven was blockading Cap Fran(jois. He had secured 
pilots for the Old Bahama Channel, but as they seemed 
very incapable, he had despatched Captain Elphinstone in 
the Richmond frigate to survey it as far to leeward as 
Cay Sal, where the five hundred miles of danger came 
to an end. 

On the morrow Hervey, with whom Pocock had 
already got in touch as he passed, joined him, and 
reported Bl^nac still in Cap Frant^-ois. Douglas sailed 
the same day, and joined on the 23rd. It was Pocock's 
intention to detach the Jamaica convoy under his com- 
mand. As Douglas had leave to go home, he was also to 
take charge of the homeward-bound convoy, which Pocock 
intended to get away through the Yucatan and Florida 
Channels if BMnac remained at Cap Francois. This 
of course could be done safely, so soon as he had made 
sure of the Spanish fleet in Havana. The only trouble 
was the troops from America. On the 26 th he heard 
from Amherst that they were just about to sail when 
his despatch left. Pocock no doubt expected them to 
join in a day or two. But in any case by his secret 
orders he was instructed not to wait for them, and on 
May 27, after detaching Douglas and the convoy to 
Port Royal, he sailed with his whole fleet, leaving the 
American transports to take their chance with Blenac. 

This was the weak part of his design, but Rodney's 
action in sending Swanton to the Spanish main, and the 
information available, left no alternative. The latest 
intelligence Douglas had obtained was that there were 
sixteen of the line in Havana. Pocock had but nine- 
teen — all, except two, of the lower rates. To divide 
his fleet was therefore impossible. Moreover, Douglas 
had received a credible report from a vessel that had 


been in Cap Francois that Blenac was bitterly disap- 
pointed on finding that Hevia, when he brought out 
Prado with his six of the line, had gone on to Havana 
instead of joining him, and that he had declared his 
intention, if the Spaniards made no move to unite forces, 
to go straight home with the French trade.^ 

To the men of Quebec, who had made light of the 
St. Lawrence, the Old Bahama Channel can have pre- 
sented few terrors. The pilots proved as useless as 
Douglas had feared, but fortunately, owing to his fore- 
sight, Elphinstone met them the day after they sailed. 
He had been right up to Cay Sal and back again, and 
was able to produce a complete survey of the channel, 
with sketches of the land and Cays on both sides, and to 
report that Anson's chart was correct. He was there- 
fore in a position to lead through, and the main cause 
for anxiety was at an end. Following the method 
Saunders had adopted on the St. Lawrence, Pocock 
organised the transports into seven divisions, each with 
its conducting men-of-war. The way in which the 
escort was distributed deserves notice. Contrary to 
what would naturally be looked for, there was no regular 
vanguard or rearguard — the whole of the navy ships 
being allotted to the various divisions. With the first 
division were four of the line under Pocock ; with the 
second was Keppel's ship alone ; and with the third were 
again four of the line, the idea being apparently to pro- 
vide for a concentration of nine of the line in the van or 
the centre. The next two divisions had between them 
only two of the line and a fifty, but the sixth had three 

' Douglas to Pocock, May 6, enclosed in Pocock's despatch of May 2(j, 
In-letters, 307. Besides his nineteen of the line he had one forty-four, five 
frigates, two sloops, and three bomb vessels. — "List of the Fleet," ibid. 
He was subsequently joined at Havana by four more of the line and one 
or two cruisers. — Beat.son, vol. iii. p. 394. 

264 HAVANA 1762 

of the line and a fifty, and the last division five of the line 
and a fifty. The main anxiety, it will be seen, was an 
attack from the windward upon the rear by Bl^nac, and 
provision was thus made for a rearguard of eight of the 
line and two fifties to deal with him effectively if he 
made the attempt.^ But Blenac had less mind than 
ever to burn his fingers for the Spaniards, whom he 
regarded as having deserted him. He remained passive, 
and the fleet proceeded without interference. Elphin- 
stone performed his duty admirably. No hitch of any 
kind occurred. The narrowest and most dangerous part 
of the channel between Cay Lobos and Cay Comfite was 
actually passed at night by means of fires burning upon 
the rocks, and by the evening of June 5th, that is a week 
after leaving Cape Nicholas, the whole fleet was clear of 
Cay Sal, and in sight of Matanzas, less than a hundred 
miles from its objective. 

Meanwhile the authorities at Havana were resting in 
blind security. Though it was a little more than a year 
since the captain-general and the admiral had come out 
with two French engineers and elaborate directions for 
repairing and improving the defences of the place, next to 
nothing had been done. The weak point of Havana was 
a rocky ridge known as the Cabana Hill, which ran along 
the east side of the harbour opposite the city. It was 
high enough to command all, or nearly all, the defences 
as well as the city itself and the harbour. The official 
scheme of defence provided for its occupation by a power- 
ful redoubt at its inner and landward termination, the 
famous Morro Castle being at the other. But the work 
had only been talked about until the copy of the Gazette 
announcing war had been received. Then they began to 
clear the site, but some troops and labourers sent for 

1 See organisation of the fleet in Keppel's Life of Kejypel, vol. i. p. 34G. 


from Mexico had introduced an outbreak of yellow fever 
and the work had been abandoned. In the eyes of the 
authorities there was really nothing to fear. Prado fully 
believed that owing to the other preparations he had 
made the British Avould not think of attacking them, 
and cheerily assured his sovereign that if they were so 
rash they would certainly break their heads. Nothing 
could shake the captain - general's complacency. As 
Pocock lay at Cape St. Nicholas waiting for Douglas to 
join, a travelled-stained man had rushed into his ante- 
chamber demanding an instant audience. He was a 
Spanish merchant from Jamaica who had got away to 
Cape Antonio in a boat, and had ridden night and day 
with news of what was in the wind. The captain-general 
would not listen. No one, indeed, would admit the possi- 
bility of a fleet coming through the Old Bahama Channel. 
A fortnight later, on June 6 th, Pocock's sails were seen 
from the top of Morro Castle, and an officer hurried 
across the harbour to tell the news in the city ; but only 
to be reprimanded for spreading false alarms. The fleet 
could be nothing, he was told, but the regular Jamaica 
convoy homeward bound. Finally it was not till fresh 
messengers reported that a fleet was standing in a little 
to the eastward with flat-boats in tow that the miracle 
could be believed. Then all was alarm. Then and not 
till then the garrison was mobilised, the militia called 
out, and horses sought for the dragoons. Anson's clever 
device had entirely succeeded. The surprise was com- 

It was on the evening of June 6th, as the old First 
Lord lay d3dng at home, that the alarm was given. On 
that day Pocock had arrived off" the Coximar river, about 

1 nuro, Armada Etpafiola, vol. vii. pp. 4G-9. His main authority is the 
report of the oOicial Spanish Court of Inquiry. 

266 HAVANA 1762 

five leagues east of the Morro. Before sailing he and 
Albemarle had been furnished with a copy of Knowles's 
report. It indicated the sandy bay where the river falls 
into the sea as the only possible landing-place, since on 
the further or city side of the harbour the coast was 
supposed to be all foul ground. Here then the admiral 
dropped the transports and a division of six of the line 
under Keppel to destroy the two forts which they found 
guarding the bay, exactly as Knowles had stated, and to 
cover the landing, Pocock himself with the remaining 
thirteen of the line and the bomb-vessels went on to 
blockade and threaten the city. It was all on the regular 
lines that Drake had laid down, and it went with 
practised precision. Pocock in the orthodox way got his 
marines into the boats and made a feint of landing on 
the further or western side of the city. At the same 
time Keppel, having quickly destroyed the forts, was 
getting the troops ashore in the usual three divisions 
under Captains Hervey, Barton and Drake at a point on 
the east side of Coximar Bay which Knowles had advised, 
and it was done without the loss of a man. 

Here, however, Knowles's plan began to be departed 
from. From the point where the landing was made a 
path led through the bush to the inner end of the 
Cabana ridge where the redoubt had been planned, and 
Knowles had recommended that an immediate advance 
should be made along this track and the position seized. 
For some reason this was not done, probable because the 
soldiers considered that the Morro Castle rendered the 
ridge untenable. This formidable work stood at its sea- 
ward end upon a somewhat isolated rock, and formed 
the main defence of the harbour entrance. It was to 
be assumed that it enfiladed the Cabana ridge. Knowles 
seems to have thought it did not : and, moreover, had 


satisfied himself that from the Quarry Hill, in which 
the ridge terminated towards the sea just short of the 
Morro, the Castle could be attacked on its weakest side. 
The soldiers apparently were of a diflferent opinion. At 
all events, though an immediate advance was made, it 
was not made upon the ridge. The soldiers preferred 
to make direct for the bastioned front of Morro. They 
therefore advanced along the shore, Keppel scouring the 
beach and woods before them with his small cruisers, 
With this help they had passed the last obstacle between 
them and their objective before night. 

Still no attempt on the Cabana ridge was made. Instead 
a corps was detached next day under Eliott with orders to 
force his way through the woods below it, and endeavour 
to seize the village of Guanabacoa, which lay in the open 
country beyond at the head of Havana Bay. Driving a 
considerable body of troops before him, he successfully 
accomplished his task. The idea of the operation seems 
to have been to secure horses and fresh provisions, and 
to cut off the communication of the city with the in- 
terior on that side, and to cover the siege. The whole 
movement is roundly condemned by Knowles, and it 
must be said with some show of reason. It had the 
effect, as he points out, of permanently dividing the 
army, and of preventing Eliott's corps taking any part in 
the subsequent siege operations. It appears also as the 
first indication of Albemarle's incapacity for the kind 
of operation entrusted to him. A coup de main is the 
method to which such combined attacks peculiarly lend 
themselves, and which above all in such a climate they 
particularly demand. Pocock had handed the general a 
complete surprise for the purpose, yet he was proceeding 
by the text-book rules for continental warfare in Europe, 
and every hour was letting his chances slip. There 

268 HAVANA 1762 

may, of course, have been military reasons of which we 
are unaware, still we cannot but endorse Knowles's com- 
ment. " Experience," he says, " in former expeditions 
might have taught them that whatever is to be effected 
in the West Indies must be done as expeditiously as 
possible." But it is all part of a large and vital question 
on which clearer light will fall as we proceed. 

To see how fine was the chance which Albemarle was 
missing, we have but to look within the city walls. 
During all this time the Spanish Council of War was 
sitting in distracted debate. An order had been immedi- 
ately issued to complete the unfinished redoubt which 
had been designed for the shore end of the Cabana ridge, 
so as to enfilade the whole ; for the truth was that by 
this means alone could its occupation by the enemy be 
prevented. A thousand sailors from the fleet were set to 
drag up guns to arm it. Knowles's view of what was 
the vulnerable spot is certainly endorsed by the Spaniards' 
alarm for its safety. In their eyes the point which the 
British had chosen for their landing indicated the Cabana 
as the first objective. But in the panic that prevailed no 
one thought of covering the working parties by abattis or 
other temporary expedients such as the difficult ground 
afforded in abundance. The consequence was fatal. The 
following night Carleton pushed a reconnaissance towards 
the enemy's works. The excited Spaniards took it for an 
attack in force, and took to their heels. The panic spread 
to the Council, and in spite of the direct and elaborate 
orders from Spain they hastily decided to spike the 
twelve heavy guns which the sailors had got up, and to 
abandon the position as untenable. But still Albemarle 
let it alone. 

In the city they almost gave themselves up for lost. 
With all the warning they had had, and the years Spain 


had been preparing for war, the regular force in the place, 
according to the official return, was under three thousand, 
including marines and available seamen, and the militia 
and volunteers amounted to less than six thousand.^ 
Without the help of Hevia's crews, therefore, they regarded 
the place as untenable, and the depressing step was taken 
of paralysing the fleet by devoting its life to the land 
defence. But even here the panic-brewing did not stop. 
Close off the mouth of the harbour lay Pocock threaten- 
ing attack. The entrance to the splendid haven was 
but half a mile wide. It was defended in the strongest 
manner. Besides the Morro Castle and two heavy 
batteries below it on the water's edge, there was on the 
opposite or western side the formidable Punta Fort and 
the city batteries, denying all access. Yet even so the 
timid and startled Council could not rest at ease, and the 
insane resolution was taken of sinking three ships of the 
line to block the entrance. So, for no possible good, 
they imprisoned their own fleet and rendered Pocock free 
to assist the army. The British had been presented 
gratuitously with the absolute local command of the sea, 
and the admiral was able to perform the last part of his 
special task, and send word to Douglas that all was clear 
for him to pass the convoy homeward. 

On the 11th, under cover of a diversion which Pocock 
made to the westward, Carleton seized the end of the 

^ The total, according to Captain Duro, given by the official returns 
which were put in at the Court of Inquiry, were : — Regular troops, sailors, 
and marines of the squadron, 2800 ; militia and paisanos voluntarios, a 
little more than 5000 ; arsenal hands, 250; freed slaves, GOO. See Armada 
Espaiiola, vol. vii. p. 50 note. English authorities, of course, place the total 
much higher. Beatson, vol. ii. p. 543, gives a return, apparently the report 
of a prisoner, three times greater — Dragoons, 810 ; infantry, 3500 ; artillery, 
300 ; sailors and marines, 9000 — total regulars, 13,G10. Militia and people 
of colour, 14,000. Grand total, 27,610. This may have been on paper the 
whole force in the island. Probably it was the judicious exaggeration of a 

2 70 HAVANA 1762 

Cabana ridge adjoining the Morro with hardly any resist- 
ance, but no use was made of the lodgment. The idea 
was merely to prevent interruption of the siege works 
which were now opened against the Morro. Thus several 
days had been lost to no purpose, and of the rest of the 
proceedings the best that can be said is that they con- 
tinued to afford an unhappy example of the unwisdom of 
committing such work to a general without experience of 
combined expeditions, and with no genius for amphibious 

That he landed where he did cannot be laid to his 
charge. It was Knowles's idea that he should do so 
and proceed to attack the Morro as being the key of the 
place. Where he failed was in not shifting his ground 
so soon as it was found how far beyond the range of a 
coup de main the capture of the castle was. From first 
to last it seems never to have entered his head to try 
elsewhere. In spite of what Saunders and Wolfe had 
proved so well at Quebec ; in spite of its endorsement by 
Keppel and Hodgson at Belleisle, and by Rodney and 
Monckton at Martinique, the peculiar strength of the 
force at his command was a sealed book to him. Bred 
in the rigid school of Cumberland, he had no notion of 
how to avail himself of the mobihty of an amphibious 
force. He could do nothing more original than sit down 
before the Morro in solemn Low Country form. Yet on 
the other side of the harbour lay the city, his real objec- 
tive, so weakly defended that, seeing the state of panic 
and confusion that prevailed, it could scarcely have re- 
sisted a vehement assault from troops steeped in victory 
like those at Albemarle's command. To the men who 
had climbed the Heights of Abraham and the cliff of 
Belleisle, and had rushed the Morne Gamier at Marti- 
nique, there would have been no thought of repulse. 


Such at least was the opinion of many officers in both 
services, and of the Spaniards thenaselves. The city walls 
were low and old, designed merely for defence against 
buccaneers ; in several places they had crumbled down 
and half-tilled the ditch, and whatever loss a bold assault 
in the early days would have cost it must have been far 
less than that which Albemarle's pipeclay tactics involved. 

It is true he had the excuse that, according to Knowles's 
information, a landing on the city side was impossible, 
owing to there being all foul ground off the shore. But 
Pocock quickly found out that it was not so, and in a day 
or two he had anchored off the Chorera river, a little to 
the westward, and seized the village at its mouth as a 
watering place. Good anchorage was found all along the 
coast, but it made no difference to Albemarle. Knowles's 
general comment is worth recording. " When a general," 
he says, " is sent abroad upon a particular enterprise, in 
which he is to co-operate with another corps [meaning a 
fleet], both are obliged to make use of their joint force for 
the accomplishment of that object, for it differs widely 
from his having an unlimited power in an enemy's country 
during the continuance of a war." But it is a difference 
of which Albemarle was unable to grasp the significance. 

Not even when the formidable nature of the task 
he had set himself was fully apparent were his eyes 
opened. The work of conducting a regular siege under 
the conditions that prevailed proved murderous, and the 
labour was severely increased by Eliott's corps being too 
distant to share it. The soil was too thin for proper 
approaches to bo made ; the whole ground was a tangle 
of dense and sickly bush, through which roads had to 
be cut, and so rocky was the surface that the moving 
of stores and guns was beyond measure arduous. And 
overhead burned the pitiless Juno sun, under which not 

2 72 HAVANA 1762 

even a Cuban can work with impunity. Finally, and 
worst of all, there was no water to be found ; every drop 
had to be brought by the seamen from the other side of 
the Bay. Yet Albemarle clung stolidly to his false 
position, and, the word being given, soldier and sailor 
strove merrily together to make the best of it. But in 
spite of the confident spirit that prevailed, they began 
quickly to drop at their work, struck down in ever 
increasing numbers by the insufferable heat and thirst. 
For three weeks the deadly toil went on without a single 
effort to turn the surprise to advantage. Colonel Howe, 
it is true, had been sent to the other side to occupy 
the village of Chorera, but the object was merely to cut 
the enemy's communications to the westward, to interrupt 
his water-supply, and to protect our own. 

It was not until the end of the month that the 
breaching batteries were complete. On July 1st they 
were to open, and Albemarle's limited ideas of combined 
operations were fully displayed. Having no higher grasp 
of the possibilities of the force at his disposal than to use 
the fleet as an artillery reinforcement, he requested the 
Admiral to batter the castle from the sea, so as to take 
off some of the fire from his batteries. It was madness. 
The Morro was too high for ships to touch ; but Hervey, 
after his wont, volunteered to try. He was given three 
of the line, and in the morning stood in. The leading 
ship of the devoted squadron could not face it, and her 
captain was afterwards cashiered for not going close 
enough. Hervey took his place, and held on until he 
ran aground with his broadside bearing. So, in chorus 
with the shore batteries, he continued firing ferociously 
till two in the afternoon — one of the hottest fires ever 
seen, it was said. " I am unluckily aground," he wrote 
presently to Keppcl ; " but my guns bear. I cannot per- 


ceive their tire to slacken. ... I am afraid they are too 
high to do the execution we wished. I have many men 
out of combat now, and officers wounded ; my masts and 
rigging much cut about, and only one anchor. I shall 
stay here as long as I can and wait your orders." Every 
minute he expected to hear the army was advancing to 
the assault, but no word came, and in the heat of the 
fire he wrote again, asking for assistance to get off. 
" The smoke," he said, " makes it impossible to see the 
effect we have had or likely to have, nor can we tell 
when the army will advance," and, still cheery as ever, he 
signed himself " often duller, and ever yours, A. Hervey." 
But the army could not advance. The new battery, 
as was usual with our engineers at that time, had been 
badly placed. Hervey's bombardment, so the soldiers 
say, did so far distract the enemy's fire seawards that it 
enabled them to dismount most of the guns on the land 
front of the Morro, but the fire of its sea bastion was 
not dominated sufficiently to permit an assault. At two 
o'clock Albemarle decided to abandon the attempt and 
signalled to the ships to that effect. By that time Hervey's 
squadron had nearly two hundred men killed and wounded, 
including Captain Goostrey of the Camhridge, and he drew 
off at last, cut to pieces, and with another brilliant bit of 
daring to his record. 

The fact was they had miscalculated the resistance 
they were to meet, as was only natural in view of the 
pusillanimous opening of the defence. The arrangements 
were all those of Hevia, the Spanish Admiral, who, making 
up in truculence what he lacked in military insight, com- 
pletely dominated the captain-general and all his council.^ 

1 Pezuela, Ilistoria de Cuba, vol. ii. p. 474, quoted by Captain Duro, with 
many other authorities, in his Appendix. " Dates y juicios de la rendicion 
de la Habana." — Armada Etpanola, vol. vii. p. 71 et seq. 


274 HAVANA 1762 

So it happened, curiously enough, that his faint- 
hearted treatment of the fleet turned to the Spaniards' 
greatest advantage. For, having resolved to devote 
his force to the defence of the city, Hevia insisted on 
turning out all the enervated local officers and com- 
mitting the important posts to the captains of his ships. 
The Morro had been given to the famous Don Luis 
Vicente de Velasco, a veteran captain of the old war, who 
still lives as one of the national heroes of Spain. The 
castle mounted about seventy guns, and for garrison he 
was allowed three hundred infantry, fifty seamen and fifty 
gunners, with three hundred negro labourers, who were 
relieved every third day. In testimony of the spirit that 
was in him, he began by walling up the gate of the 
castle, and leaving no communication with the outside, 
except by hanging ladders. The fire he kept up was 
beyond all control, and, not content with mere defence, 
he kept urging the authorities to sally out and attack 
the works which the British were so painfully rearing. 
The example which he and his fellows set put new heart 
into the place, reinforcements began to come in from the 
interior, and the heroism of the defence proved in striking 
contrast to the nerveless plan on which it was designed. 

Still the odds against him were enormous. Hervey's 
diversion had enabled General William Keppel, who had 
charge of the siege, to make some little impression, and 
next day the bombardment was continued more furiously 
than ever. Several of the batteries were manned and 
armed from the fleet, and the way the seamen served 
their guns is said to have filled the soldiers with astonish- 
ment. " Our sea folks," wrote one, " began a new kind of 
fire unknown, or, at all events, unpractised by artillery 
people. The greatest fire from one piece of cannon is 
reckoned by them from eighty to ninety times in twenty- 


four hours, but our people went on the sea system, firing 
extremely quick and with the best direction ever seen, 
and in sixteen hours fired their guns one hundred and 
forty-nine times." ^ Nothing could stand such work, and 
by next evening Velasco had only two guns in action. 
All promised a speedy success, but, unhappily, the fury of 
the seamen's fire was equally disastrous to their own 
works. The fascines, scorched to tinder under the 
burning sun, kept taking fire — water was not to be 
had, and scarcely any earth — and just as the destruc- 
tion of the Morro defences seemed nearly complete, the 
principal battery was almost entirely destroyed. In a 
few hours the labour of seventeen days and hundreds of 
men was consumed, and all had to begin again. It was 
a mortifying stroke, for in the suftbcating air the hard- 
ships of the siege were growing beyond human endurance. 
The food got worse and worse, the water scarcer, and 
the air more pestilential. Over five thousand troops and 
three thousand seamen were down already with wounds 
and sickness, and scores were dying daily. No reinforce- 
ments had come from America, and the hurricane season 
was getting alarmingly near. Still Albemarle clung 
stolidly to his conventional plan, and the Spaniards were 
left almost as completely undisturbed from the sea, as 
though Havana was the heart of a continent. 

Meanwhile Pocock had thoroughly established his 
position at Chorera on the other side, and had his whole 
fleet comfortably berthed in the new anchorage he had 
found. Since the Spaniards had relieved him of the 
pains of blockading, he had practically nothing for his 
battle squadron to do except to assist the troops with 
shore parties, and to keep a small division in the ofUng 
to intercept any reinforcements that might appear. This 

^ Lift of Kcppel, vol. i. p. 357. 

276 HAVANA 1762 

precaution was still necessary. So soon as Hevia had 
regained his senses and discovered that effective resist- 
ance was made possible by Albemarle's mistake, he had sent 
far and wide through the Indies for help. Pocock's in- 
formation still was that in Santiago there were three of 
the line, at Cartagena three more, besides two others 
cruising in Campeachy Bay. These vessels constituted a 
menace to our local control, remote it is true, but they 
had to be watched. Besides this preoccupation, Pocock 
had to cover the passage of the Jamaica convoy and the 
arrival of the American division, and both of them were 
daily expected. He therefore threw a chain of frigates 
out to the Bay of Florida, and kept a cruiser squadron off 
Matanzas to the eastward, and another off Cape Antonio 
to the westward to watch the Yucatan Channel, and, 
though the enemy's squadrons never appeared, he was 
rewarded by a number of prizes. 

It was on June 15 th — that is, three days after the 
harbour was finally blocked — that he had landed at 
Chorera, by Albemarle's request, two battalions of marines 
and the detachment of infantry which the general sent 
across with Howe. This looked more like the proper 
thing, but nothing came of it. Albemarle could not rise 
to anything better than a commonplace diversion. With 
such a man as Wolfe or any of his pupils in command it 
is impossible to believe nothing more would have been 
done. In a single night, as at Quebec, sufficient troops 
could have been thrown across to Pocock's side to rush 
the defences of the city itself, while Eliott's corps replaced 
them before the Morro. At least the possibilities of a 
successful surprise were great enough to have made it 
under the circumstances almost criminal not to have 

Yet for three weeks more after the first failure the 


work went on just as before on the Morro side, where 
new batteries had to be estabhshed in a better position, 
with the same appalUng sacrifice of hfe. The walls of the 
castle seemed to be all in ruins, but yet Velasco kept up 
his fire as vigorously as ever. This he was well able to do, 
because no attempt was made to interrupt his periodical 
relief from the city, although, so Knowles says, this could 
easily have been done with a gun or two on the Quarry 
hill, which Carleton had seized. The situation grew more 
critical and hopeless every day, and still nothing was 
heard of the American troops. Yet, to the credit of all 
concerned, there was no thought of letting go their hold, 
even though the hurricanes might burst upon them in a 
few weeks. After the failure of the attack on the Morro, 
Pocock devoted himself to preparing for the worst. Some 
thirty miles to the westward lay the excellent natural 
harbour of Mariel. This he seized with a number of 
vessels, including two royal frigates that had sought 
shelter there, and thus provided himself with a refuge 
where the whole fleet could lie in perfect security and 

Ashore the work slowly progressed, in spite of every 
difficulty. On July 12th Douglas appeared with the 
Jamaica convoy on its homeward voyage. He came to 
drop some hundreds of negroes whom Albemarle had 
purchased for labourers, and the occasion was seized to 
buy a number of cotton bales to form the approaches and 
batteries. Then things began to go better. In a fort- 
night we had twenty guns against only five or six of the 
enemy's. Velasco, seriously wounded, had had to leave 
his post. In a day or two more the Morro's fire was 
entirely silenced, or at least there was but a gun or two 
fitfully firing. The sap could now be pushed along the 
edge of the coast towards the sea bastion of the castle, 

278 HAVANA 1762 

and by the 20tli the miners reached the face of the rock 
on Avhich it stood. The ditch was seventy feet deep, and 
could only be passed in single file by an exposed ridge 
that had been left to prevent its being entered from the 
sea. Yet it was done with the loss of only three or four 
men, and a mine was commenced under the bastion. 
At the same time a shaft was sunk in the counter-scarp 
opposite, in order to throw it into the ditch and form a 
way for the stormers to cross. That same night, further 
to mark the lack of enterprise in the pedantic general, a 
sergeant and his party scaled the sea face and found the 
guard asleep. They stole down again for support, but 
ere they could return the alarm was given and the 
chance lost. 

Still the mining went on, and Velasco, as he lay in 
hospital, could not rest. Though himself condemned to 
inactivity by his wound, he persuaded his chiefs that 
a passive defence could no longer save them. A second 
sally in force was ordered and excellently planned. It 
was in two divisions — one against Carleton's post on the 
Cabana ridge, the other directly against the sap. But 
at such work the Spaniards were no match for Albemarle's 
seasoned veterans, sick and exhausted as they were. 
Carleton, who had replaced Lord Rollo, invalided home, 
was brigadier of the day. He was everywhere, and, 
thanks to his energy and the staunchness of the troops, 
both sorties were quickly repulsed with heavy loss. All 
hope of stopping the British work was given up, and 
Velasco left his bed to return to his doomed post. Four 
days later, on the 28th, to make matters worse, the first 
division of the American contingent appeared. 

The moral effect was excellent, but the force which 
Burton brought was but a fragment of the whole that was 
expected. The weak point in Pocock's disposition had 


told. To begin with it was no more than the first division, 
and in the Caicos Passage it had encountered a division 
of Bl^nac's squadron, under M. Fabre, consisting of two of 
the line, two frigrates, and half-a-dozen smaller cruisers. 
Its escort was but one ship of the line and a frigate. 
The French gave chase, cut off five or six transports and 
captured them, with 350 regulars, 150 provincials, and a 
quantity of stores.^ The rest the escort saved, but only 
to lose in their hurry the frigate and four more transports 
on the Cayo Comfite, in the narrowest part of the Old 
Bahama Channel, for want of a guide. Pocock immedi- 
ately sent off Elphinstone, with some transports and sloops, 
to rescue the wrecked crews and bring on the second 

The failure of the whole American contingent to arrive 
was particularly unfortunate, and may to some extent 
account for Albemarle's inactivity on the city side. 
Though the slender reinforcements which Burton brought 
appeared in the nick of time to enhearten the army for 
the supreme effort, the rest were sadly wanted. By this 
time the Morro mines were ready, and it had been decided 
to attack the city the moment it fell. Preparations were 
already well advanced, and Burton and his troops were 
landed at Chorera in readiness for the contemplated 
attack. On the morrow the mines were to be sprung. 
Velasco saw that all was over, and sent to his chiefs for 
orders whether to abide the assault, or evacuate and 
save the garrison. The council of war, irresolute to the 
last, sent word back that he was to act as he saw best 
according to circumstances. 

To a man of Velasco's punctilious honour such an order 
was a condemnation to death. Alive to its folly, and 
broken-hearted for his devoted garrison, he sent again 

^ Pocock to Admiralty, Aug. IG. 

2 8o HAVANA 1762 

next day for precise orders. The answer never came. 
At the hour of siesta, when the British camp seemed 
sunk in rest under the blazing sun, a terrific explosion 
was heard which shook the castle like an earthquake. 
The garrison sprang to arms, but only to find the narrow 
and almost impracticable breach swarming with British 
grenadiers. Counter-guards had been erected in plenty, 
but there was no time to man them. Velasco himself, as 
he rushed to the ramparts, fell shot in the breast. In a 
few minutes all was over, and the Morro had fallen. 

The defence had been brilliant as the end was sudden. 
The British officers were far more deeply impressed with 
Velasco's achievement than with their own. Their first 
care was for his life, and at his own request he was sent 
across the harbour to be treated by the Spanish surgeons. 
Night had fallen, and, as there might be a difficulty 
about his being landed, one of the general's aide-de- 
camps was sent with him, with orders that if admittance 
could not be had he was to bring the wounded man back 
to Albemarle's own camp, " that he might be treated with 
all the care and homage that was due to an officer who, 
with so much glory, had known how to uphold his trust 
and the honour of his Prince's arms." ^ He was ad- 
mitted, but all care was unavailing, and two days later 
he died, spared the knowledge of the final act. 

Albemarle now lost no time in doing what, in the 
opinion of many, he ought to have done at fu'st. He 
went over to reconnoitre the west side, leaving his 
brother to form heavy batteries on the shore end of 
the Cabana ridge, which could now be reached from the 
Morro by water, and to prepare the Morro batteries 
for bombarding the city and Fort Punta. The re- 
connaissance proved his mistake up to the hilt. A road 

* Hevia's Diary, quoted by Duro, vol. vii. p. 67. 


was found leading almost up to the weak defences, and 
covered, the greater part of the way, from the fire of 
Fort Punta. Even now it was only stopped by abattis, 
and had a bold advance been pushed home at first, in 
the midst of the panic and under cover of a bombard- 
ment of Fort Punta by the fleet, it could scarcely have 
failed to succeed. So untenable was the place on this 
side that, although the second American division arrived 
safely on August 2nd, Albemarle would not waste life in 
an assault, assured that, according to the rules of his art, 
the city must surrender when the Cabana and Morro 
batteries and those he was making on the western side 
were complete. The difficulties of the ground were 
almost insuperable, but the Admiral solved them by 
making the fleet carpenters saw up one of the prize 
frigates for gun platforms. On the 10th all was ready, 
and Albemarle sent in his summons. It was refused in 
handsome style, and next day at dawn all the new 
batteries opened. Before ten o'clock Punta was silenced, 
and by noon there was scarcely a Spanish gun firing. 
Shortly afterwards all was silence, and white flags 
were flying from every point. Havana had decided to 
surrender. On August 14th, after two days' wrangling, 
the gates were delivered into our hands, and what was 
left of the garrison marched out with the full honours 
of war. 

So after a two months' siege fell the Queen city of the 
Indies. For over a hundred and fifty years, since Drake 
first sailed out against it, it had baffled our every effort 
even to approach its virgin walls. It had come to be 
regarded as impregnable, the inviolate symbol of the 
power of Spain. The moral effect of such a blow at 
the outset of the new war was incalculable. As always, 
it had been the hope of Spain, in challenging England, 

282 HAVANA 1762 

that she would recover the gate of the Mediterranean. 
Instead, she had lost the gate of the Indies, and we had 
won another Gibraltar in the West. Such a gain was 
well worth perhaps its terrible cost. The day after the 
capitulation, the return showed eighteen hundred dead, 
besides thousands of sick and wounded, who were dying 
daily. And that was only the beginning. The sickness 
continued to rage unabated all the autumn. Early in 
October the return showed five hundred and sixty killed 
or dead fi-om their wounds, and no less than four thousand 
seven hundred dead from disease. This alone was well 
over a third of the whole force, and it took no count of 
the hundreds who died afterwards in England or America, 
or only recovered to drag out a crippled and deca3'ed 
existence. Albemarle himself was a sick man for the rest 
of his life. This terrible loss by disease was the real cost 
of refusing Pitt's importunity to begin the war at the 
proper season, and of the delay that was caused by the 
hesitation of the new Ministry and their general's lack of 

Yet when all the carnage is reckoned, the fact remains 
that probably no conquest, at once so rich, so decisive, 
and of so high a strategical value, was ever made against 
a civilised force at so small a cost. Over and above the 
moral and strategical effect, the actual booty was enor- 
mous, and the direct loss to Spain even greater still. 
With the city were surrendered nine ships of the line, 
besides the three that had been sunk and two nearly 
finished on the stocks. It meant a fifth of the whole 
Spanish navy. Added to these were half-a-dozen royal 
frigates and despatch vessels captured either hi the port 
or outside at various times, a ship of seventy-eight guns 
and six more frigates belonging to the great trading 
corporations, and nearly a hundred merchantmen. The 

1762 THE BOOTY 283 

booty was further swelled by over a hundred brass guns, 
quantities of warlike stores, and an immense amount of 
merchandise. The actual sum of prize-money divided 
equally between the navy and the army was nearly 
three-quarters of a million. Unhappily, according to 
the evil old precedents, it was divided wholly in favour 
of the senior officers. Each commander-in-chief received 
a third of the moiety allotted to his service, and the 
commodore and divisional generals a fifteenth. Thus 
Pocock and Albemarle each received over £122,000, 
and the three Keppel brothers between them over 
£150,000, or more than a fifth of the whole. Pocock's 
share was^at least well earned, if only because with Olive he 
had given us the Indian empire ; but Albemarle had spent 
the years of stress as Lord of the Bedchamber to the 
Duke of Cumberland. And it was not even a general's 
victory. Success had been won by the indomitable 
staunchness of rank and file, the devotion of the sub- 
ordinate oflScers, and the co-operation of the men of 
both services forcing a bad plan through by sheer pluck 
and endurance. It was the men who had borne the 
heat and the burden, and their reward was to every 
private £4, Is. 8^d., and to every bluejacket £3, 14s. 9fd.^ 
It was Hervey whom Pocock selected to carry home 

' The division of the prize-money is often spoken of as though it were 
contrary to precedent. This was not so. Before sailing Pocock was 
given "Additional Instructions" to enable him to adjust the division 
with Albemarle. For this purpose they were furnished with three pre- 
cedents : — 1. The expedition of Commodore Wilmot and Colonel Lillingston 
to the West Indies in lGM-5 (William III.) — Commanders-in-chief, J, the 
rest to officers and men. Of the Navy share, officers had J ; warrant 
officers, I; petty officers and men, |. 2. Naval Orders under Anne, 1702 
—Queen and States-General {i.e. the Dutch Government), § ; of the re- 
maining J — admirals, i\; vice-admirals, ^V ! captains and lieutenants, ^\ ; 
the rest, y\. 3. The Order of 1740 ((Jeorye //.)—Commandors-in-chief by 
land and sea, equally between them, /'j ; generals and flag officers, in pro- 
portion to their salaries, I'j ; commissioned oflicers, i\ ; rest of the force, ,\. 

2 84 HAVANA 1762 

the glorious despatch, and richly had he deserved it. 
In Spain the honours of the fine defence rested on the 
hero of the Morro. While the captain-general and the 
Marques del Real Transporte were both disgraced, his 
family was ennobled with the title of the place he had 
held so well, and the King issued a decree that for ever 
afterwards there should be a ship in the Spanish navy 
named Velasco. 



By the time Havana fell Bute and the King had suc- 
ceeded in dragging their unwilling country to the brink 
of a nerveless peace. So far, indeed, had they gone, that 
Hervey reached home with the glorious news only just in 
time to prevent them flinging away the priceless advan- 
tage that had been won, and all the blood and devotion it 
had cost. 

With Bute, such things weighed but light. He had 
come to power to make peace, and to make it at the 
lowest price an abiding fear of impeachment would let 
him. Within ten days of Pitt's fall he had begun his 
task by taking secret steps to reopen the negotiations at 
the point where they had been broken off. The inter- 
mediaries he employed were his old friend the Comte de 
Viri, Sardinian ambassador in London, and his colleague 
in Paris, the Bailli de Solar, and the correspondence was 
conducted apparently without the knowledge of any 
other person except the King. It began with a letter 
from Viri to Solar on October 17, 1761, in which he 
speaks of Pitt's fall as a great surprise, and says a certain 
person of credit wishes it had taken place before Stanley 
and Bussy had been recalled.^ 

' Lansdowne House MSS., Viri-Solar Corr., vol. i. The three vohimes, 

for access to which I am indebted to the kindness of the Marquis of 

Lansdowne, contain a complete copy of the correspondence which led to 

the peace. Except when otherwise stated, the letters quoted in the text 

are to be found there. See also Lord Fitz-Maurice's Life of Shelburne, 

vol. i. p. 137 and note. 



Upon this hint the delicate Avork was begun, and in a 
month's time, just when our ultimatum was sent to 
Spain, negotiations were actually on foot. According to 
Lord Chesterfield they were managed on the English side 
by Viri, since Bute was entirely without experience in 
diplomacy, a statement which the correspondence itself 
fully endorses. On December 13 th Choiseul formally ac- 
cepted the Sardinian mediation, but there is no trace of 
Bute's having communicated the affair to the rest of the 
Cabinet before the end of January, when Newcastle saw 
a cold letter from Choiseul to Solar expressing grave 
doubt of the sincerity of the overture.^ Viri, however, 
was clever enough to keep the matter going, and early in 
February another " most secret " letter to him from Solar 
was shown to Newcastle, intimating that Choiseul was 
willing to make peace." From this point the negotiations 
appear to have passed mto Egremont's hands, to whose 
province they properly belonged, and early in March 
Choiseul began to communicate directly with him. By 
March 21st, only a fortnight after Pocock and Albemarle 
had sailed, he had got so far as to send to Viri, for 
Solar's information, the terms on which England was 
ready to treat. It must be, he said, on a basis of uti possi- 
detis. Of the neutral West Indies we should require St. 
Lucia and St. Vincent, in Africa Goree, and on the knotty 
point of the Newfoundland fisheries we were ready to 
grant a French police post in the island of St. Pierre.^ 

This negotiation was by no means the only one in which 
the new Government was groping for a way out of its 
troubles. At the same time Newcastle was urging Yorke 

1 Choiseul to Solar, Jan. 23, and Newcastle to Hardwicke, dated 
Wednesday (? Jan. 27), Rockingham Memoirs, vol. i. pp. 97-9. 

2 "Substance of a most secret letter, Ac," Newcastle Papers, 32,934, 
Feb. 5. 

» Egremont to Viri, March 21, ibid., 32,93«. 


at the Hague to persuade the Dutch to come in, on the 
ground that if they did not we should have to withdraw 
from the Continent and leave them to the mercy of the 
Bourbon coalition. It was a suggestion after Bute's own 
heart. He himself was telling Yorke to persuade the 
Dutch to let their', Scots brigade serve in Portugal, and 
he endorsed Newcastle's scheme cordially.^ Hardwicke 
shook his head over it all. He did jiot believe, he said, 
in secret negotiations, and feared they would only make 
France think we were " knocking at every door for peace." ^ 

Still they went on, and had he but known to what 
further lengths they were being carried he would 
have shaken his wise head more dubiously still. 
With the airy self-confidence of a novice Bute had 
undertaken on his sole responsibility no less a task 
than the restoration of the system of William III. — the 
old Triple Alliance which the war had upset. New- 
castle's idea of bringing in the Dutch therefore exactly 
hit his fancy. His own part had been a characteristically 
amateurish attempt to come to a secret understanding 
with Austria. So hopeless a misconception of the trend of 
European politics, on which Kaunitz's great coalition had 
been founded, is almost inconceivable. For Austria, the 
dominant factor in the world was the rise of Prussia as a 
rival for the hegemony in Germany. Yet Bute in his 
blindness believed that he could raise in its place the old 
bugbear of the Bourbon alliance, and bring Europe back 
to what it was before the days of the great Elector and 
Frederick's unpardonable seizure of Silesia. 

It is not to be denied that there was much in the 
actual situation of affairs to tempt a sanguine novice 
to try such an overture. But even so, an older liand 

^ Newcastle to Yorke, Jan. 8 ; Bute to same, Jan. 12, ibid., 32,933. 
* Hardwicke to Newcastle, March 21, ibid., 32,936. 


would have known it was the worst possible moment to 
make it. The heart of the matter lay in the military 
situation. For our own army on the Lower Rhine, the 
campaign of 1761 had ended satisfactorily enough. It 
was in its old position on the line of the Upper Ems, 
and the British contingent was wintering at Miinster and 
Osnabriick. The French had withdrawn their left for 
the winter behind the Rhine, with their headquarters at 
Cassel, so that neither side had gained any ground during 
the campaign, and the defence of Hanover if not of 
Hesse was still good. With the central armies things 
Avere in the same unchanged condition, but in the Eastern 
or Prussian theatre they were as bad as they could be. 
After a desperate defensive campaign Frederick had only 
just been able to hold his front. He had secured it, 
however, at the last moment by winning the battle of 
Torgau in Saxony, which had practically decided the 
campaign in his favour and enabled him to maintain 
his headquarters at Breslau : still, for the first time in 
the war, the Austrians were wintering in Silesia. But 
worst of all was in his rear. There the Russians, after 
raiding Berlin, had turned into Pomerania and captured 
the important seaport of Colberg. Their success had 
been achieved by combined operations with a fleet in the 
Baltic, and Frederick could not help harping on the 
naval help he had confidently expected when he began 
the war. " Give my compliments to the good Mitchell," 
he wrote to his Minister in Berlin, " and tell him, but 
with no kind of reproach, that with six English ships of 
the line Colberg would have been saved." ^ It was a 
crushing disaster. Russians as well as Austrians were 
able to winter in Prussian territory, and worse still they 

1 Frederick to Finchenstein, Dec. 27, 1761, Politische Corr., vol. xx. 
p. 144. 


had a sea base from which in the next campaign they 
could deal Frederick a blow in the back which he had no 
means of resisting. Once more he fell into a black fit of 
despair, feeding the dregs of his hope on the chimerical 
chance of getting the Tartars to make a diversion against 
Russia and the Porte against Austria. It is even said 
he took to carrying poison, determined never to fall 
into the hands of his enemies or to sign an ignominious 

If Bute, too, thought the game in Germany was lost 
beyond redemption, it is scarcely to be wondered. The 
news of the fall of Colberg reached London on January 
4th, just when Mello was pressing the Government 
to come to the rescue of Portugal. Our annual treaty 
with Frederick had expired ; negotiations for its renewal 
were on foot ; but in view of the secret communications 
with France, there was a difficulty about renewing it on 
precisely the old terms, for it contained a proviso that 
neither party should treat with the common enemy with- 
out the knowledge of the other. Further hesitation was 
caused by the fact that with the defence of Portugal added 
to our burden it seemed scarcely possible to continue to 
give Prussia any assistance that could avail to save her. 
It was just at this time, moreover, that the Cabinet had 
been in the throes of a final decision about Havana. In 
the eyes of the Court party the whole situation was beyond 
our resources, and although after the fall of Colberg a 
renewal of the Prussian treaty had been promised in 
general terms, Parliament had not been asked to vote the 
subsidy. Instead, therefore, of anything definite about 
the renewal being said, Bute wrote off to Mitchell in 
Berlin to tell him that Frederick must make peace on 
the best terms he could get ; for in the face of the new 
war, and our having to defend Portugal, we could go on 



in Germany no longer.^ It is conceivable under these 
circumstances that Bute really believed the only possible 
way of helping Frederick out of his difficulties was to try 
to come to terms with Austria, though the ruling motive 
was undoubtedly his own and his master's detestation of 
the whole German embroilment. In the rawness of his 
inexperience he does not seem to have stopped to consider 
what the effect on Frederick's darkened mind Avould be 
should the Austrian overture come to his ears, nor of the 
disastrous effect on our prestige if it failed. He could 
think of nothing but tearing himself and the country free 
from the hopeless situation at any cost. 

Yet scarcely had he taken his blundering step, when 
the whole prospect changed by one of the most dazzling 
tricks of fortune even in Frederick's career. The very 
day after the fall of Colberg was known in London the 
Czarina Elizabeth suddenly died. Her successor was 
Peter, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, who had been serving 
under Frederick as a general of horse, and idolised him 
as devoutly as Elizabeth had detested him. He at once 
intimated a complete change of policy. At his first levee 
he had come up smiling to Keith, the British ambassador, 
and whispered in his ear he hoped he would be pleased 
with him, for he had sent an order to stop the Russian 
advance into Prussia. Immediately afterwards Keith was 
informed that orders had been issued for an armistice, 
and for the withdrawal of the Russian troops from the 
Austrian army,'"^ Thus at the very moment when Bute 
was deciding to abandon Frederick to his fate, the danger 
which threatened Prussia with extinction vanished with 
magical suddenness, and the great coalition of Kaunitz, 

* Bute to Mitchell, Jan. H, NeivcasUe Corr., 32,933 ; same to same, 
May 20, Mitchell Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 294. 

- Keitb to Bute, Jan. 8, Newcastle Papers, 32,933, 


on which our obligations to Frederick were founded, was 
broken in pieces at a stroke. " I can only compare my 
situation," wrote Frederick to Ferdinand, "to that of 
Louis XIV. at the end of the War of Succession. What 
the disgrace of Marlborough's party was to him, the death 
of the Empress of Russia is to me." ^ 

Unfortunately it was impossible for the startling news 
to reach London till the end of the month, and in the 
meanwhile Bute's clumsy activity had had time to do all 
the harm it could. Yorke, according to his orders, had 
got into communication with Vienna, and Bute's overture 
in due course found its way to Kaunitz. As was only to 
be expected, it was treated by him with the haugbtiest 
disdain. He would not even vouchsafe to reply. In the 
most contemptuous manner in which such an application 
can be met, he merely wrote to Yorke's secret agent, 
reminding him that in the original negotiations in 1755, 
on the eve of the war, Austria had already put forward 
her apprehension of her danger from a new Bourbon 
coalition, but that England, absorbed in her own ends, 
refused to listen. " Under these circumstances," he con- 
cluded, " I must confess to you that his Imperial Majesty 
and his Minister cannot understand what the confidential 
overture of the English really means, and consequently it 
is easy to see that we do not find ourselves here in a 
position to return an answer."" 

To the prestige of a country about to treat for peace 
as a conqueror, no rebuff could be more damaging. But 
even this was not the worst. Kaunitz took care to spread 
the story all over Europe, and Frederick quickly got to 
know that an overture of some kind had been made to his 

1 Politische Corr., vol. xxi. p. 256, Feb. 17. 

^ Kaunitz to Baron de Reischach, Vienna, March 3 ; Adolpluis, History 
uf England, vol. i. p. 41)3, Appendix II. 


arch-enemy behind his back. There can now be no doubt 
that Bute's unfortunate idea was no worse than the well- 
intentioned blunder of a self-confident and incapable man 
without diplomatic experience, and that it Avent no further 
than his actual written instructions to Yorke. Without 
doubt he foolishly believed that Austria could be induced 
to take a new view of the situation, and turn her energies 
against the Bourbon coalition instead of consuming them 
on Frederick. It would be best for every one if she did. 
But there were interested parties who took care that 
the whole transaction should be given a very different 
colour. To complete Bute's folly, although he kept 
the matter secret from Frederick, he was moved to 
impart it to Galitzin, the Russian ambassador in London, 
who was about to leave. Now Galitzin was a con- 
vinced member of the powerful Austrian party which, 
of course, still existed at the Russian Court, and he 
took care that his conversation with Bute should reach 
Frederick's ears in so garbled a form as fairly to astound 
the unhappy British Minister when he heard of it. 
Galitzin in his report to the Czar said that Bute wished 
to warn Russia to be on her guard against encouraging the 
chimerical projects of Frederick against Austria. Bute 
had also expressed a hope that Peter would not desert his 
old ally for the new one, and had declared he could not do 
better for Frederick than induce him to save himself from 
destruction by making peace even at the sacrifice of some 
of his territory. According to the report, Bute further 
suggested that the best way to keep a hand over the King 
of Prussia and accelerate a general peace was not to with- 
draw the Russian troops from the Austrian army. Peter 
lost little time in communicating the news to his friend, 
and Frederick was naturally furious. Bute with trans- 
parent sincerity absolutely and vehemently denied having 


said any such thing, but the relations between England 
and Prussia at the moment were so uneasy that Frederick 
could only believe the worst,^ 

At the end of the previous year, when the last news 
from Germany was the favourable winter position of 
Ferdinand and Frederick's victory at Torgau, Parliament 
had agreed without a division that all the German sub- 
sidies should be continued for another year. Two millions 
had been voted for Ferdinand's army, but still no call had 
been made for Frederick. At this time Bute and the 
King seemed resolved to abandon him altogether rather 
than renew the treat}^ on the old terms. It is true that 
when news came of the new Czar's attitude they had 
made a desperate effort to recover their mistake. Bed- 
ford, in spite of every pressure that could be brought to 
bear on him, had insisted on moving in the House of 
Lords for the suppression of all the subsidies and the 
immediate recall of our troops. Bute had seized the 
opportunity to make a handsome speech against the 
motion, in which he declared that " a steady adherence 
to our German allies was now necessary for bringing about 
a speedy, honourable, and permanent peace." Bedford 
was beaten by an overwhelming majority, but it did 
nothing to satisfy Frederick. It was peace, not war, that 
was clearly in Bute's mind. Instead of proceeding at 
once to settle the payment of the Prussian subsidy, he 
intimated that in view of the changed attitude of Russia 
his master hoped that the money would be used for 
securing peace rather than for continuing the war, and 
begged to know what Frederick's plans were to that end. 
Absorbed in the obvious advantage of replacing England 

* " Extrait d'une depeche du Prince Galizin," London, Jan. 26, 
forwarded to Frederick from St. Petersburg, March 13. — Frederick to Goltz, 
March 23, Politische Corr., vol. xxi. pp. 311-12. 


by Russia as his main ally, and as yet uncertain how his 
overtures to St. Petersburg would go, Frederick was at a 
loss what to reply. Week after week he maintained what 
in England could only be regarded as an almost insolent 
silence. When at last a letter did come from him to 
the King, it contained nothing but exultation over his 
new friend and exhortations for a vigorous continuation 
of the Avar. The Prussian Ministers in London were at 
the same time pressing importunately for the subsidy 
to be settled. Bute and the King lost temper, and 
the Prussians got for an answer a sharp protest to the 
effect that not a penny would be paid till Frederick 
explained his ideas on the subject of peace. 

It was just at this time that Frederick got wind of the 
perverted version of Bute's overtures to Vienna, and to 
make matters worse, he himself was taking an equally 
unfortunate step. Peter had told Keith shortly after his 
accession that he would be glad to receive an envoy from 
Frederick. Keith quickly arranged the matter through 
Mitchell, but before the officer who was sent had been in 
St. Petersburg many days, our vigilant ambassador dis- 
covered that some negotiations were going on which were 
being kept secret from him. It was nothing less than 
a suggestion from Frederick to the new Czar for coming 
to terms at the expense of Denmark. Since Peter was 
Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, his position as heir to the 
Russian crown raised the eternal question of the duchies. 
By the terms of the original sub-infeudation by the King 
of Denmark, they could not be severed from the Danish 
crown. In the danger that thus threatened the integrity 
of Denmark Frederick had seen a chance of getting from 
her the assistance he most needed, and up to the moment 
of the Czarina's death he had been contemplating an 
offer to guarantee to the Danish Court the sovereignty 


of the Schleswig-Holstein duchies in return for a Baltic 
fleet to recover Colberg. As soon, however, as the new 
Czar ascended the throne and began making his friendly 
overtures, the versatile King turned round. The special 
envoy, whom Peter had invited, carried with him to 
St. Petersburg instructions to say that if the Czar would 
evacuate Prussian territory, and also, if possible, guarantee 
him Silesia, he Avas ready to guarantee Holstein to his 
crown. He was even ready to sign an act of neutrality 
in view of Russia making war on Denmark, but it must 
be " most secret," and above all, be concealed from the 
British ambassador.^ 

Mitchell in Berlin also got wind of the affair. He 
believed, like Keith, that the arrangement extended to 
Schleswig, and added a rumour that Frederick was making 
preparations to seize the free city of Liibeck in order to 
facilitate the execution of his plan. Considering that the 
Prussian mission to the Czar, and indeed the whole 
rapprochement, had been arranged by the good offices of 
the British representatives at Berlin and St. Petersburg, 
the secrecy in which the Danish intrigue had been 
wrapped could only raise the gravest suspicions. For of 
all the Courts in Europe, that of Denmark was the one 
to which our own was most closely allied by blood. The 
Queen of Denmark was actually a daughter of George 
the Second, and what made matters still worse was that 
England and Russia were two of the Powers which had 
guaranteed the Danish sovereignty of Schleswig. It is 
true that at first Frederick's proposal did not go beyond 
Holstein, but even so, it was a considerable strain on the 
loyalty of his harassed ally. King George was naturally 
indignant. In a personal letter he accused Frederick of 

' " Instruction pour le Baron de Goltz," Feb. 7, Politische Corr., vol. xxi. 
p. 231. 


intending to use the subsidy not for making peace but 
for spreading the war still further, and Bute instructed 
Mitchell to say that if the King of Prussia had made any 
engagement about Schleswig it would cost him his subsidy, 
and if he had not, his denial of all such intention must 
be a condition of the grant.^ 

This letter was written in April, and just a week after 
news had come in of the capture of Martinique. Every 
one was in high spirits about the Spanish war, and even 
the most timid were now confident that Havana would 
share the fate of the French island. On the 8th the 
Cabinet had met to settle the three vital questions of the 
hour — that is to say, the formal opening of negotiations 
with France, the amount of assistance that could be given 
to Portugal, and the continuance of the Prussian subsidy. 
Grenville and Bute were openly for making no further 
payments, even for Ferdinand's army, and would stop the 
war in Germany altogether. On this point no firm deci- 
sion was taken, but on the question of Portugal it was 
otherwise. Though at first Frederick had admitted our 
duty of protecting her even at the cost of neglecting 
Ferdinand's army, he had recently changed his tone, and 
was now doing his best to get us to desert our old ally. 
Not, of course, openly ; but " in confidence " he told his 
Minister in London that the case of Portugal was hope- 
less, and that the King had better retire to Brazil. The 
following week, again, he suggested that the threatened 
invasion of Portugal was a mere parade designed to 
cover a Spanish descent on Ireland, or even on England 

' See the correspondence in Adolphus, vol. i. Appendix II. ; also Mitchell 
to Bute, Jan. 30 and March 2, 7, and 25, Mitchell Memoirs, vol. ii. 

'•* Frederick to Knyphausen, Feb. 8 and 13, Politische Corr., vol. xxi. 
pp. 239-50. 


At the moment such an attitude on the part of 
Frederick in regard to Portugal was quite enough to 
bring the British Cabinet to unanimity in the opposite 
sense. The main trouble was that it was agreed we could 
spare no more than six thousand men, and it was doubtful 
whether so small a force could be of any use. To settle 
the question, Lord Tyrawley, the old friend of the 
Portuguese Court, had been sent out, at Mello's request, 
with some other oflEicers on a secret mission to report 
on the situation, and to arrange a plan of defence. It so 
happened that his report just now came to hand, and it 
was to the effect that the available force would probably 
be sufficient to enable Portugal to hold her own. For the 
Cabinet this was enough, and without further hesitation 
it was decided to issue orders for six thousand men to 
proceed to Lisbon at once. To mark further the complete 
breach with Frederick, Bute, as the result of the meeting, 
sent his defiant despatch on the question of the Danish 
duchies and the subsidy, and Egremont wrote formally 
to Choiseul proposing a revival of the negotiations on the 
basis of the last " two ultimatums," and intimating our 
readiness to attend a congress to settle the war in 

Within a week of the despatch being sent, Choiseul 
had penned a favourable reply, and on the very same 
day, like the resolute statesman he was, he had sent to 
Spain his elaborate war plan for a final effort to bring 
England to reason." At the same moment Anson, as 
though, on the brink of the grave, he was inspired with 
a vision of Choiseul's mind, was preparing a plan for the 

' Newcastle to Hardwicke, April 1 and 10 ; same to Bedford and to 
Barrington, April 8 ; Egremont to Choiseul, April 8, JVrAvca.itle Paperf, 
32,936-7 ; Viri to Solar, April 8, Lanulownc House MSS., i. 

2 Choiseul to Egremont, April 14, Newcaatle Papers, 32,!)37 ; Duro, 
Armndri Expailoln, vol. vii. p. 53. 


defence of the coasts. The force that remained available 
for the purpose was slender to the last degree, and he 
was urging that Hawke must hoist his flag in the Channel 
fleet at once. On April 12th Bute went to see him. The 
same day the Cabinet considered his proposals, ordered 
them to go forward, and the dying admiral, at the end of 
his strength, was carried down to Bath.^ 

It had been the hope of Bute and the peacemakers 
that their work ere this would have made sufficient 
progress to render needless the opening of a new 
campaign. Ferdinand had been held back, fretting and 
inactive, till the last moment, but now the time had 
come when " aye " or " no " must be pronounced, and 
the air, which should have been mild with peace, was 
highly charged with war. The diplomatic tangle was 
too dangerous for any man to trust. The British 
Ministers could feel Pitt's spirit burning round them 
throughout the country. They dared not flinch if they 
would — Choiseul would not if he could. The word was 
peace, but sword in hand. On both sides the war plans 
had to be set in motion ; and to turn to them from the 
misguided and trothless diplomacy of the hour is a 
welcome relief. They at least were marked on the 
French side by the grandiose mind of a great War 
Minister, and on our own by the skill and comprehen- 
sive grasp which Pitt's administration had bred in every 
department concerned. 

The original proposals of Spain bore no such stamp. 
Penetrated, like Napoleon, with the idea that England's 
power rested entirely on her commerce, she anticipated 
him in suggesting to France the formation of a " conti- 
nental system " for the exclusion of British trade from 

* Bute to Newcastle, April 10 ; Newcastle to Devonshire, April 13, 
Newcastle Papers, 32,5)37. 


European ports. Choiseul was to get the adhesion of 
Russia, and she herself would manage the Mediterranean 
Princes. Choiseul, more far-sighted than Napoleon, at 
once refused, on the ground that such a method of 
meeting England would be as costly as it was dangerous. 
" Commerce," he observed in his reply, " is a kind of 
torrent. Its course can only bo changed with difficulty, 
and if you try to cut it off suddenly, it destroys the 
banks where you stop it." The military operations which 
Spain had to propose were of the usual nature — an attack 
on Gibraltar by sea, a descent in Ireland, the conquest of 
Jamaica, and the invasion of Holland by France on the 
old plan of securing an indemnity against the British 
conquests beyond the sea.^ But Choiseul would have 
none of these thingjs. Methods so trite were below the 
starting-point where his creative mind began to think. 
He Avas bent on Spain's concentrating the whole of her 
home energy on Portugal, enforcing his advice with the 
reflection that the Portuguese Court was resting secure 
and inactive in the confidence of neutrality. In this 
belief — if it really was a belief — we know Choiseul was 
wrong. Portugal was already awake and busy securing 
British protection. 

In order to afford Spain no pretext for attack, the 
affair was being conducted with the utmost secrecy by 
Mello in London. Not even Hay, our minister in Lisbon, 
was informed of it officially. Oeyras, the famous Portu- 
guese dictator, was in power. As early as November 
1761 he scented what was in the wind, and he was deter- 
mined at all costs that no sign of his moving should 
give Spain the handle she wanted. It was in the middle 
of December that Mello had made his application for 

* Flassan, La Diplomatic FranQctise, vol. vi. p. 456, citing a despatch of 
the Due d'Ossun, the French Ambassador in Madrid, dated Jan. 18. 


Lord Tyrawley. By January 7th Egremont had been 
instructed to give the desired assurance. A month 
later the resjriraents that were available had been warned 
for service, and Tyrawley appointed to command, and 
given his secret instructions for the confidential report.^ 

Whether or not it was Choiseul who first suggested 
the shameless violation of Portuguese neutrality is diffi- 
cult to determine. It is certain, however, that he was 
for Spain's striking an immediate blow while the victim, 
as he supposed, was still asleep and before England could 
act. This, however, was a length to which the chivalry 
of the Spanish King would not permit him to go. He 
insisted on proceeding more honourably by diplomatic 
means. He would first present a demand to Portugal, 
in accordance with his original plan, that she should 
close her ports to British trade, and detach herself alto- 
gether from the British interest. If she accepted, she 
was to be guaranteed against attack ; if she refused, she 
would be regarded as an ally of the common enemy. 
She must choose between one side and the other — 
neutrality was impossible ; but until she had made her 
choice Charles declined to act, and Choiseul had to 
consent. He was careful, however, to send a special 
envoy to Lisbon to conduct the negotiation in conjunc- 
tion with the Spanish Minister, and to see things went 
the right way.^ It must further be remembered that an 
intrigue to create in Portugal itself a reaction of popular 
sentiment against England had been an undercurrent of 
French policy since the beginning of the war, and that 
under Choiseul's administration the French Minister at 
Lisbon had been fomenting a campaign in the press to 
that end. The affair had ended in failure, and by the 

1 Egremont to Hay, Feb. 9, S.P. Foreign (Portugal), 54. 
* Flassan, Diplomatic Fran^nixc, vol. vi. p. 458. 


end of 1761 it was clear that nothing but force could 
overcome the stubborn loyalty of Portugal.^ But what 
is most significant of all is that an attack on Portugal, 
and the diversion of British attention to its defence, was 
a point upon which Choiseul's whole war plan turned. 

As we have seen already, this war plan in its final 
form was not delivered to Spain till after the Havana 
expedition had sailed, and news had come of Rodney's 
success at Martinique. It is also important to note that 
Choiseul had just been officially informed that Sweden 
was going to follow the lead of Russia, and make her 
peace with Frederick." All chance, therefore, for France 
to obtain in Hanover the long-sought guarantee for a 
favourable peace was gone, and it was the moment when 
Choiseul had decided to re-open negotiations with Bute. 

To aggravate the situation for him Spain was still 
hanging back from the final step. In the middle of 
March the joint ultimatum of the two powers had been 
presented in Lisbon, and an answer demanded in four days. 
It was given without shrinking, in terms of brave and 
pathetic dignity. Honour and justice would not permit 
the King's joining them against England. He deplored 
the quarrel of his friends, and, after expressing his 
willingness to mediate, appealed to Charles to have pity 
on the miserable state of his country. Charles was 
moved, and his emotion was sharpened by the unwelcome 
news that Martinique was lost. For the moment nothing 
was done. " I see well," wrote Choiseul to the French 
ambassador in Spain, " that at Madrid they are not used 
to disasters. It is a difficult habit to acquire when you 
are engaged in war; but these are just the situations 

' Wheeler, I'he " Discours Politique," attributed to Pombal [then Count 
of Oci/ras]. — English IJistorical Review, vol. xix. p. 12.S. 

2 Havrincourt to Choiseul, March 20, Newcastle Papers, 32,!t3(i. 


that call for the highest courage." ^ But even as he 
wrote the die was cast. A second threatening ultimatum 
had been presented to the King of Portugal, and he had 
rejected it passionately, exclaiming, " It would aifect him 
less to let the last tile of his palace fall, and see his 
faithful subjects spill the last drop of their blood, than to 
sacrifice the honour of his crown and all that Portugal 
held most dear." It was four days after this high 
answer was penned that Choiseul sent off his war plan. 

Whatever may be said of it, it cannot be denied the 
quality of courage. With England still advancing from 
success to success beyond the seas, and all hope of coun- 
tervailing advantages on the Continent gone, Choiseul 
found himself driven, as a counsel of despair, to deliver 
a counter-stroke at his enemy's heart, and deliver it by 
invasion over an uncommanded sea. This condition was 
the absorbing difficulty. He did not disguise from him- 
self that for the success of his scheme local and tem- 
porary command was essential. For it was no mere raid 
that he had in contemplation, but a continuing operation 
in successive waves. He frankly faced the situation that 
such a command could only be obtained by diversion — 
by working, that is, for a dissipation of the English naval 
defence, and the deflection of the enemy's attention from 
his theatre of operation. With this postulate as the 
essential condition of success, he argued that it was im- 
possible to throw across the whole force required in one 
body. The concentration of the troops, and the collec- 
tion of sufficient transport, would at once put England on 
her guard. Concealment was only possible by suddenly 
seizing a pied a tcrre with a small body of troops that 
could be passed over in local craft, and reinforcing them 
as rapidly as possible. The obvious drawback of the 

* Choiseul to d'Ossun, April 5. — Flassan, vol. vi. p. 460. 


method was, that it involved securing a local control of 
the sea of considerable duration, but Choiseul made up 
his mind that this was the lesser risk. 

In the memorandum then, in which he communicated 
his plan, he began by pointing out that if the two 
crowns decided to send an army to England, it would 
be necessary to arrange a combination, so as to secure 
" the command of the Channel and a superiority in that 
sea for at least five Aveeks." In view of the force they 
had available this was by no means easy. According to 
Choiseul's information there were in Brest 6 of the line ; 
in Rochefort, 10 ; in Ferrol, 8; in Cadiz, 14; in Carta- 
gena, 4; and in Toulon, 10. In all there were 52 of 
the line, but, as he observed, they were distributed in a 
manner that by no means lent itself to concentrating and 
carrying them in one fleet into the Channel. The ten 
sail in Toulon could easily join the four in Cartagena, but 
they would together form a squadron too weak to force 
the Straits in the face of Saunders, and the attempt to do 
so would probably end in giving the enemy a decision 
in the Mediterranean. It was only possible, therefore, 
to count on the thirty-eight that remained in the various 
Atlantic ports, and from these must be deducted the 
ten in Rochefort, which could not move so long as 
the British held their blockading position at the Isle of 
Aix. There remained, then, no more than the twenty- 
eight in Brest, Ferrol, and Cadiz ; and as it would be 
necessary to leave at least six of these for the defence of 
the Cadiz waters, the striking fleet could not amount to 
more than twenty-two of the line. With such a force 
an open bid for the command of English waters was 
impossible, but, seeing how widely the British fleet was 
distributed, it might be possible, by diversion, to seize 
the Channel and hold it for the five weeks needed before 


the enemy could concentrate a sufficient force to drive 
them off. 

For such a method to succeed he insisted that two 
things were necessary: firstly, absolute secrecy, and, 
secondly, operations to throw the enemy off his guard 
and lull him to security at home. The primary object, 
therefore, must be to induce him to send the greatest 
possible number of vessels away from his own seas, and 
to denude the British Islands of troops. The means to 
this end were the war in Germany, the war in Portugal, 
a demonstration of besieging Gibraltar, and across the 
Atlantic a threat to recover Martinique and Guadeloupe, 
and to seize Jamaica, for which operations the two crowns 
had already thirty of the line in the West Indies. These 
diversions must be made with promptitude and vigour ; 
for the moment the enemy got wind of the real object 
of the allied squadrons, they would gather a force 
together which would never lose sight of them, and be 
certain to ruin the plan. " Well do we know," wrote 
Choiseul, " that, in spite of the Avide distribution of their 
fleet which they have maintained throughout the war, 
they have always shown themselves in a position to face 
every danger with which France threatened them." In 
the European theatre he thought that Gibraltar would 
afford the best means of diversion, as being furthest away 
from England. A feint of besieging it was to be made, 
and, to give it reality, thirty French battalions would be 
sent down from Marseilles, and landed at Estrepona. If, 
at the same time, the operation was accompanied by 
movements of the Toulon and Cartagena squadrons, it 
would certainly fix the bulk of the British strength in 
the Straits. 

Meanwhile France would quietly be making the 
necessary preparations for passing troops across the 


Channel. The originality of ChoisGul's plan Avas that 
no more than eight small vessels were to he collected 
between Dunkirk and Calais, enough to enable him to 
establish a footing in England, and rapidly to support 
it during the four or five weeks the allied fleet would 
be masters of the Channel. So small an assemblage of 
transports, he repeated, would not arouse suspicion, and 
the English would be certain to take the substance for 
the shadow. The real difficulty would be the formation 
of the corps of invasion. To assemble a sufficient force 
on the coast would be to betray the whole secret. But 
he believed it could be managed in another way. By 
organising the corps between the Meuse and the Lower 
Rhine, it would acquire the colour of a reserve for the 
Westphalian army, and at the last moment it could be 
moved by forced marches to the coast in echelon as 
required. It was to consist of a hundred battalions, or 
about 50,000 men. 

Then follows the method in which he hoped to manage 
the naval concentration without revealing its object. The 
rendezvous must be Ferrol, as being the point calculated 
to make the enemy most uneasy about Gibraltar, and also 
as being outside the actual theatre of operations, so as to 
admit of the allied fleet reaching the Channel without 
fiofhtinsf. To Ferrol, then, France must send eight of the 
line from Brest, and Spain eight from Cadiz, and the 
junction must be made without meeting the enemy. 
This might reasonably be counted on because the English 
would naturally believe the concentration was intended 
to form a combination with the fourteen ships of the 
Mediterranean squadrons and establish the siege of 
Gibraltar, and they would therefore prefer to hold the 
Straits to blockading Ferrol. Consequently it was to 
be expected that the English would take u]) a position 

VOL. II. u 


somewhere between Cape Gata and Cape St. Mary, that 
is either within or without the Straits, so as to " attend 
the motions " of the allies and be superior to either wing 
of the combined fleets. That this would be done could 
be counted on with certainty, for so favourable for the 
British was the position indicated that with a score or so 
of the line they could contain the whole of the available 
thirty-six of the allies. Such a trap would be all the 
more certain to catch them because, while they would 
see active operations ashore against Gibraltar, there 
would bo no sign of movement at Calais or Dunkirk. 
Further to ensure the deception, the King of Spain must 
withdraw all his troops except ordinary garrisons from 
Galicia, since even a small force on that coast, with a 
fleet in Ferrol, would indicate a raid on Ireland, and tend 
to reveal to the enemy all that it was most essential to 
hide. It would turn their attention to Ferrol, and they 
would take up a position off the port which would make 
it impossible for the allied fleet to get out without fight- 
ing. An action would ruin the whole plan, for, even if 
victorious, the combined squadron must suffer so much 
damage that the English would be able to retain com- 
mand of the Channel with a mere handful of ships. It 
was indeed essential that the combined squadron in 
Ferrol should be ordered to defer its sailing till there 
was nothing in its path.^ 

It will be seen at once how vital to the scheme was a 
diversion against Portugal. Within a week Solar sent 
over to Viri a report of what was in the wind. Falling 
straight into Choiseul's trap he warned Viri that the 
chief obstacle to securing peace would be Spain and 

* " Project for the invasion of England, formed by the French Ministry, 
and remitted April 14, 1760," Duro, Armada Espanola, vol. vii. p. 53, 


Grimaldi, and that England's best chance of spoiling 
their game was to support Portugal with all the troops 
she could. PortULjal, he said, and not Hanover, was to 
be the main object of the year's campaign.^ Clearly 
what Choiseul was aiming at — and what Viri unwittingly 
was doing his best to bring about — was to throw into con- 
fusion the covering or containing system which Pitt had 
used Avith so much success throughout the war. Anything 
like a conquest of England was not in his mind. The 
military force at his disposal was not great enough, and 
if it had been he could not have got it across. But if 
only the enemy's home defence force could be temporarily 
reduced to a low enough point, he trusted that his fifty 
thousand men would be able to deal to England a blow 
which would rush her into accepting reasonable terms. 
The attack on Portugal was the only means of securing 
such a reduction ; for Gibraltar was fully garrisoned, and 
in view of the condition of affairs in Germany, and the 
fate of Martinique, no reinforcements were likely to be 
drawn away to either of those theatres. 

The whole plan, though suffering from an excess of 
subtlety and elaboration, was undeniably well conceived 
in view of the actual situation. It cannot be said it had 
no chance of success, and it was certainly simpler and more 
firmly knit than any of those which Napoleon afterwards 
adopted. A scheme very like his last — so like, indeed, 
that it is obviously the origin of Napoleon's idea — had 
actually been submitted to Choiseul amongst many others 
at this time. A squadron was to leave Toulon in the 
winter, and, after recapturing Goree, Avas to return to Ferrol 
in July the following year. Two other squadrons, leaving 
Brest and Rochefort in the same way, were to rendez- 
vous at Martinique, recapture Guadeloupe, and threaten 

' Solar to Viri, April IG, Lanadmone House MSS, 


Jamaica. In July they were to meet the Toulon 
squadron in Ferrol, and then the three in company were 
to set free a fourth squadron in Brest, seize the command 
of the Channel, and cover the passage of an invading 
army. This project, which was drawn up before the 
Family Compact was signed, became even more attrac- 
tive when the Spanish co-operation was available ; but 
Choiseul rejected it in favour of his simpler scheme, 
founded directly on a combination with the Spanish 
fleet, and the fresh possibilities of diversion arising from 
the shift in the balance of the war.^ 

The manner in which the danger of this scheme was 
detected and met by England, and the system on which, 
in spite of it, she maintained her covering position for 
the main attack on Havana, are of high interest. Let us 
turn first to the Straits — the southern area, where for the 
defence the situation was most critical and difficult. 
There, it will be remembered, Saunders, having found 
that from unavoidable delays his chance of striking a 
blow at Spain was lost, had correctly decided to assume 
the defensive. Clearly appreciating that his function in 
the British plan was discharged by keeping the Mediter- 
ranean and Atlantic divisions of the enemy apart, he 
would permit nothing to distract him from holding the 
Straits and setting up the strategical deadlock which 
Choiseul had recognised to be insoluble. We left him 
before Cadiz, whither he had gone at the earliest possible 
moment, hoping for a chance to attack. Though he at 
once recognised there Avas nothing left for him but the 
defensive, it was by no means easy to decide how best to 

* See Lacour-Gayet, Marine sous Louis XV., p. 354. The author is of 
opinion that Napoleon consulted this memoir as well as the subsequent 
projects of the Due do Broglie di-awn up in 1703-65, ibid., 422 n. He does 
not, however, mention the project which, according to Captain Duro, 
Choiseul actually forwarded to the Spanish Court as his final plan. 


perform his function. The force at his command was 
eighteen of the line, and though all were small except 
his own flagship, he had nothing to fear from any 
probable concentration of the allies, provided ho could 
maintain an interior position between their Mediter- 
ranean and their Atlantic divisions. But it Avas essential 
for him to make sure of being able to deal with either 
concentration singly, if the Atlantic divisions tried to 
join those in the Mediterranean, or vice versa. There was, 
of course, an obvious temptation to endeavour to improve 
the situation by blockading Cadiz, so as to prevent the 
Atlantic divisions getting together at all. But his fine 
strategical insight and his masterly grasp of the essential 
conditions quickly convinced him that this would be 
an error. It would be trying too much at the risk of 
losing everything. A position which would enable him to 
blockade Cadiz, and at the same time make sure of 
barring the Straits, was not to be found. In his despatch 
to the Admiralty we have his exact appreciation of the 
position. If, he says, with the wind easterly he remained 
in the Gut to prevent the exit of the combined Mediter- 
ranean divisions, he left Cadiz open for a concentration 
of the Atlantic divisions. If, on the other hand, to 
prevent this he cruised west of the Gut and within 
striking distance of Cadiz, the tirst Levanter would 
probably drive him so far to sea that the Mediterranean 
division would be able to pass out untouched, and slip by 
inshore of him round Capo Trafalgar into Cadiz. To his 
broad grasp of essentials this was the greater danger, and 
he decided that the position which his function in the 
war plan indicated was to secure the Gut and ignore the 
minor risk of leaving Cadiz open. 

So much was plain to him, but it happened that this 
dilemma, which he solved so sagaciously, did not exhaust 


the strategical complexity of his position. For, no sooner 
had he reached Cadiz and realised the problem before 
him, than he had received an urgent and mysterious 
summons from Hay for three or four ships to be sent to 
Lisbon immediately, if he could possibly spare them. No 
explanation was given, but it was requested that they 
should drop in one by one, as though by hazard. As 
yet there was no sign of movement at Toulon, which his 
frigates Avere watching from the Savoyard port of Villa- 
franca. An immediate occupation of the Gut, therefore, 
was not necessary, and on February 4th he decided to 
send up three of the line to the Tagus " to see what was 
the matter there." 

The matter was that Oeyras had just let Hay into the 
secret of the Franco-Spanish designs. The Paris Gazette 
had arrived with an acknowledgment of the Family Com- 
pact, and with it news that O'Dunn, Choiseul's special 
envoy, was on his way to force Portugal to declare war 
for or against the alliance. Oeyras also said that British 
protection had been claimed, and that Mello had been 
promised the succour he asked in London, and pending 
its arrival they were making the best defensive arrange- 
ments they could. For the present, at least, so completely 
disorganised was the Portuguese army, there could be no 
thought of holding the frontier. The only way was to 
make a stand at Lisbon, where they could hold out for 
three or four months. The immediate need was to keep 
the Tagus open till the sea-forts were repaired, and the 
few ships they had could be prepared for its defence. 
It was with this object that he had begged Hay to send 
the message to Saunders. But Oeyras still attached so 
much importance to giving no colour of provocation to 
Spain, that he begged Saunders should not be told the 
reason. The move was very happily timed, for it so 


happened that the very day O'Dunn reached Lisbon the 
three battleships came saihng into the Tagus and quietly 
requested victuals and water. 

Though Saunders was too good a " minister " to refuse 
an urgent diplomatic request, if he could possibly assent, 
he did not like it. The officer in command of the 
detached division brought a letter from him to Hay, 
saying that the call left him with only fifteen of the line, 
and that the French and Spaniards had twenty-eight 
between Toulon and Cadiz. He was, therefore, not to 
keep the ships a moment longer than was necessary. 
But so soon as the detachment had parted company, 
Saunders seems to have repented his decision, for the 
next day he wrote again to say that he could not employ 
the ships of his squadron without knowing what service 
they had gone on, and the}^ must be sent back at once. 
Hay in great distress went to Oeyras and begged to be 
allowed to tell Saunders everything. Oeyras consented, 
and the admiral was informed that succours were coming 
from England, and that his ships were wanted in con- 
junction with the Lisbon squadron to keep the port open 
from an attack from Ferrol till they came. Hay, there- 
fore, begged they might stay a little longer. By the 
time the new request reached Saunders, Sir Peircy Brett 
had joined him as second in command, with two more of 
the line, and he had heard that the French and Spanish 
force east of the Straits was only seventeen. Recognising, 
therefore, the importance of the mysterious service, he 
gave his consent, and the first week in March he moved 
down to take up his Gibraltar position and do his best 
with the force he had left.^ The whole episode has long 

* Hay to Egremont, Jan. 17, Feb. 9 and 20 ; Saunders to Hay, Feb. 4 and 
6 ; Hay to Saunders, Feb. 19, S.P. Foreign {Portugal), 54 ; Hay to Saunders, 
Jan. 18 ; Saunders to the Admiralty, "Off Cadiz," Jan. 18, Feb. 2 and 22, 
and "Gibraltar Bay," March 4, Admiralty Secretary, In-lettcrs, 384. 


been forgotten, Avitli so much else that stands to Saunders's 
credit. But it is well worth rescuinir from oblivion as 
a fine example of an admiral weighing with sagacity 
and ripe understanding the political object against the 
purely strategical, and deliberately choosing to run the 
risk of a strategical failure for the sake of securing a 
great and certain political advantage. Let us see with 
how clear a head and sure a grasp he held the high line 
he had chosen. 

His new position, as he had said, left Cadiz open ; but 
it could not be helped. At Lisbon there was no appre- 
hension of an attack from that quarter, and his own 
observation convinced him the Cadiz squadron did not 
intend to move unless and until it was joined by the 
squadrons in Toulon and Cartagena. There was little, 
therefore, to deflect his clear view that, having done what 
was wanted for Portugal, he could rightly devote himself 
to his primary object of preventing a junction of the 
enemies' Mediterranean and Atlantic divisions.^ With 
this intention he began cruising in the Gut between 
Europa Point and Ceuta. In a few days, however, a 
frigate arrived from Villafranca to report that the Toulon 
squadron was not nearly ready for sea. Whereupon, 
seeing he was still free to attend to his minor object of 
thwarting a concentration of the Atlantic divisions, he 
returned immediately to Cadiz, and there he was rejoined 
by his Lisbon detachment. 

Oeyras had done with it. Early in March he had 
informed Hay that the Tagus forts were complete, and 
that with his own ships he had now no fear of anything 
the Spaniards had ready to send out of Ferrol. Moreover, 
though the Spanish army was slowly massing on the 

^ Saunders to the Admiralty, "Gibraltar Bay, March 4," In-Utters, 


frontier, O'Dunn had made no move. Oeyras believed 
he was waiting till the arrival of the British troops gave 
him an excuse for acting, and the Minister, anxious to 
remove all shadow of such excuse, desired that the ships 
should be returned at once to Saunders, with a warm 
expression of gratitude.^ 

The position with which Oeyras had to deal is well 
worth noting, for it must almost necessarily recur 
where a neutral state is in the position that Portugal 
found herself. Though determined not to break with 
England, her main desire, prostrate as she was with 
misfortune, was to preserve her neutrality. She wished 
to give all her preparations the colour of being made as 
much against one belligerent as the other. Consequently 
when, on March 12th, Tyrawley arrived on his delicate 
mission, he found it in spite of his cordial reception very 
diifficult to do anything owing to the nervous desire for 
secrecy that obtained. " They cry aloud for the King's 
assistance," he Avrote home, " and are afraid to avail them- 
selves of it." ^ It was a situation, however, that had to be 
accepted, and Tyrawley went quietly to work to ascertain 
and report the real necessities and possibilities of the 
case. Still his movements could not be concealed, and, 
in the belief of the Portuguese Government, they brought 
down the crisis on their heads.^ At all events, about a 
week after the arrival of Tyrawley and his staff of British 
officers, O'Dunn and his Spanish colleague presentetl 
their joint ultimatum and Oeyras presented his tem- 
porising answer. It was long, he told Hay, but would 
have been much shorter if the troops as well as the 
officers had arrived from Entrland. 

1 Hay to Epjrcmont, March 12, fi'.P. Foreign (Portu'jal) , 54. 
* Tyrawley to Egremont, March 1 2, ibid. 
' Hay to Saunders, March 2y, ibid. 


But there was yet long to wait. The British Govern- 
ment was still standing fast for TjTawley's confidential 
report. Its tenour we have already seen. Contrary to 
the insidious suggestions of Frederick, it was to the effect 
that the six thousand troops and a regiment of dragoons 
that were available would in all probability save the 
situation. There was, of course, no certainty in the 
matter, but, as he observed, the value of the Portuguese 
trade was worth the risk, for the force specified was too 
insignificant to affect materially the safety of the British 
dominions. He urged, however, that if it was to come, 
it could not come too soon. 

The truth was that the hesitation of Bute for a while 
exposed Portugal to serious danger. Since the ultimatum 
had been delivered and answered a state of war practically 
existed, and the invasion might begin at any moment. 
There was a special anxiety for the southern or Algarve 
coast, which lay open to a blow from the opposite shores 
of Andalusia. Hay therefore promptly warned Saunders 
of what had occurred, and begged he would have a care 
for the threatened coast.^ But Saunders was already 
moving away from Cadiz. He had heard that the naval 
force of the allies within the Straits was going to con- 
centrate at Cartagena, and, never taking his eyes from what 
he called his " principal object," he returned to Gibraltar. 
Here Hay's request reached him. He was at his Avit's 
end for cruisers, but he still kept his hold on the master 
thread, and, without hesitating, he spared two or three 
for the Algarve coast, telling Hay at the same time 
that the Portuguese must form a coast defence flotilla 
under their protection. It was all he could do, and, come 
what might, he was determined thenceforth to hold his 

1 Hay to Egremont, and Tyrawley to same, March 22 ; Hay to Saunders, 
March 29, ibid. 


position in the Gut and close the Straits.^ The admiral's 
concentration of purpose was excellent, but at the same 
time it should be observed how well Choiseul's plan for 
confusing the British defence was working. It remains to 
be seen how, nevertheless, it entirely failed to bring about 
the situation at which he had aimed, and for this we 
must turn to the northern area of the covering operations. 
It is clear that if Anson had not penetrated Choiseul's 
design from the first, he at least considered that our 
defensive system was incomplete without providing against 
some such counter-stroke at home as the French Minister 
had suggested to Spain. When, on Jan. 24th, Blenac 
eluded Spry's blockade and got out of Brest, immediate 
steps were taken to see whether it was not the first move- 
ment of a concentration for counter-attack. Ferrol was 
open, and the Spanish force there was being watched by 
only a small cruiser squadron. It was the chief source of 
anxiety, and there was an obvious probability that it was 
Blenac's destination. His intention might be, after joining 
hands with the Ferrol squadron, to return either to attack 
Commodore Denis, who had succeeded Howe in the Basque 
Roads with nine of the line, or to cover a blow at England 
itself, or both. Orders, therefore, were hurried off to Denis 
to proceed to Ferrol and ascertain the truth.^ Before the 
result of his reconnaissance could be known, definite warn- 
ing came from our agents in France that an invasion was 
intended from Dunkirk. The French, so the information 
ran, were far from thinking themselves capable of making 
a conquest, but their object was to throw England into 
confusion, and destroy her credit, so as to prevent her main- 
taining her army in Germany.^ It was, of course, soon 

1 Saunders to the Admiralty, April !) and 2i) and May 10, In-lcttcrs, 384 ; 
Hay to Egr(!mont, S.P. Foreujn (Portugal), 54. 

» Secret Orders, 1332. ^ Newcastle PujKrs, :i2,'.)U, f. 357. 


known that Bk'nac had gone to the West Indies, but, as 
our cruisers reported twelve of the line in Ferrol nearly 
ready for sea, the place continued to cause grave anxiety. 
The usual cruisers and flotillas, supported by a small 
battle squadron under Moore in the Downs, were watch- 
m2 Dunkirk and the Breton ports to see that no trans- 
ports crossed, but for Ferrol there was nothing but the 
Channel Fleet, which was not yet available. 

The tension was soon increased by the news that France 
and Spain had presented their joint ultimatum at Lisbon, 
and that it had been rejected. The tidings reached London 
from Hay on April 6th, together with Oeyras's remark 
about " a short answer," and Tyrawley's urgent report. It 
was then the Cabinet met, as we have already seen, to 
make a final decision as to what troops were to be sent to 
Lisbon. It was clear that action must be taken at once ; 
and it was then, too, that Anson presented his scheme for 
coast defence, and told Bute plainly it was absolutely 
necessary for Hawke to get the Channel Squadron to sea 
without a moment's delay .^ At all costs the necessary 
succour for Portugal must be passed to Lisbon in face of 
the Ferrol squadron. Steps for her assistance had already 
been taken on the strength of an informal note which 
Oeyras had dictated to Hay in the middle of January. 
Arms, tents, and equipments were already at Portsmouth, 
and transports had gone to Cork, under convoy of two 
ships of the line, to pick up two battalions of infantry. 
Their line of passage to Lisbon involved little risk ; they 
could easily steal across unperceived; but with the rest 
of the troops it was different, and for them, seeing where 
they were to come from, more serious precautions had to 
be taken. When Frederick first heard of the Spanish 
movement against Portugal he had not yet been alienated 

1 Neweaath Papers, 32,936, April 8 to 10. 


by Bute's tricks, iind he had immediately suggested that 
it could be met, without prejudice to the war in Germany, 
by throwing into Portugal the garrison of Belleisle.^ His 
advice was now adopted. Indeed, the dragoons and the 
rest of the infantry that Tyrawley's report called for 
could come from nowhere else, and from Belleisle, at 
least, the course lay past the jaws of Ferrol, and the 
movement could not be concealed. 

On April 8 th Hawke received his commission, and on 
the 27th hoisted his flag. For second in command he 
had to take Prince Edward, Duke of York, but Howe 
had been summoned back to be the royal admiral's flag 
captain, Hawke did not got to sea at once. There was 
no great hurry. Portugal still had a faint hope of pre- 
serving her neutrality. For some reason, partly because 
the allies were not ready and partly because, on a strange 
hint from the Spanish ambassador, the Portuguese Queen 
was interceding with her brother, the King of Spain, a 
declaration of war did not follow the ultimatum immedi- 
ately. It was not till May 3rd, as the stores from England 
began to arrive, that the Spaniards crossed the north- 
eastern frontier, and seized the border town of Miranda. 
Three days later the Irish regiments came in, and as soon 
as it was known they were in the Tagus, but not till 
then, war was declared. The seizure of Braganza followed 
immediately, on May 15 th, and the Spaniards began to 
advance doAvn the Douro on Oporto. But this mattered 
little. The procrastination had been so great that in the 
middle of April Hay had been able to report that the 
Spaniards had lost their chance, for Lisbon was now safe 
from a coiqj de main? 

' Frederick to Ferdinand, Feb. 3, Pulitischc Corr., vol. xxii. p. 221. 
* Hay to Egremont, April 13 and 27, S.P. Foreir/n {Portmjal), ")4 ; same 
to same, May 0, ibid., 55. 


Meanwhile, at Portsmouth, till the Belleisle transports 
were ready, Hawkc was devoting himself to organising the 
plan of home defence which Anson had worked out with 
the last dregs of his strength. He was dying down at 
Bath. Lord Halifax Avas acting in his place, with Admiral 
Forbes for his chief adviser — a capable officer, whose health 
had denied him all active service since he had fought 
well, twenty years before, in Mathews's action off Toulon, 
and who had served on the Board throughout the war. 
The new chief, not content to let Hawke make his own 
arrangements, began bothering him with detailed orders. 
The interference, which certainly seems to have been 
excessive, was naturally resented by a man of Hawke's 
temper, who always considered, in common with other 
wise heads, that he should have worn Anson's cloak. He 
was at all events conscious of a unique experience in the 
Avork that was required. Under Pitt and Anson such 
annoyance never occurred, and before the admiral had 
flown his flag a week he was driven to forward a formal 
request that he might be left a free hand in disposing the 
ships under his command. A week later, in answer to 
some further nervous suggestions, he Avas informing the 
Board he considered the passage of the troops to Portugal 
the most important part of his duty. At the end of May 
he told them he had reorganised the blockade of Dunkirk 
on the plan approved by Anson before he left toAvn, 
so as to insure that the French should at once encounter 
a superior squadron if they came out. Under the old 
system, he explained, the cruisers were scattered in such 
small groups that if the French moved they could 
not attack at once, but must fall back and inform 
Moore in the DoAvns. The reply was that he was to 
maintain the old system until they Avarned him there 
Avas danger. 


So far the Admiralty was probably within its function. 
It was a question of Home defence, and they had the 
information. But the interference pursued him when 
he sailed to cover the passage of the Belleisle troops. 
He had worked out the problem with the utmost 
care, but he merely informed the Board his rendezvous 
would be ten leagues north-west of Finisterre. Failing 
to fathom his strategy, they were seriously alarmed, and 
immediately sent down to press upon him a crude plan 
of their own founded on a series of ingenious pictures 
they had been making for themselves. In their minds 
the Ferrol squadron was given so many dangerous possi- 
bilities that, on the eve of Hawke's sailing, they had been 
contemplating ordering an attack upon it. With our 
own fleet only just of sufficient strength to perform its 
covering functions such a design, of course, involved a 
wholly unjustifiable risk, and a departure from the defen- 
sive attitude at home on which Pitt's whole system had 
been founded. The idea, which presumably arose out of 
a false analogy with Pitt's own expeditions against the 
French coast, was abandoned, but only, it would appear, 
from political reasons, on the ground that it was unwise 
to provoke Spain further, now that direct negotiations 
were on the point of opening.^ Still their nervousness 
about Ferrol was such that they could not feel safe unless 
Hawke planted himself immediately before the port. 
This was the effect of their orders, but before they could 
reach Spithead Hawke was gone. 

Arrived off Ushant, he despatched two sixty-fours to 
Belleisle with orders for the troops to sail at once under 
their convoy. He himself held on for his chosen station, 
and reached it on July 1st. A chain of cruisers was 
then thrown out to Ferrol, and in this position he waited, 

^ OrenvUle Papers, vol. i. pp. 443-5, May 20. 


certain of securing the safe passage of the troops. By- 
good fortune his line of reasoning is known to us exactly, 
for at the end of the week the Board's correction reached 
him, and in his testy but dignified way he once more 
practically told . them to mind their own business. " I 
had maturely considered," he wrote, " every circumstance, 
both with regard to the enemy and the transports to 
come from Belleisle. As to the first, not the least 
fear of them bein<? at sea filled me either with distrac- 
tion or irresolution. The enemy themselves could never 
suppose me so absurd as either to appoint a rendezvous 
for the convoy from Belleisle or the commander of it to 
shape his course for any port within the Cape, as thereby 
he would run the risk of being embayed with a westerly 
wind. The course from that island with a fair wind is 
west-south-west by compass, which will fall in with Cape 
Torrinana [just north of Finisterre], and consequently 
with my rendezvous." The conductor of the convoy, he 
pointed out, would certainly in common prudence keep 
outside that line. " Under these circumstances," he con- 
cluded, " I should not think of being nearer Ferrol than 
I am. Had I shown myself off that port I must have 
come here at once for fear of westerly winds, Ortegal 
being improper. The enemy cannot get out Avith a 
Avesterly Avind, and if they come out on an easterly I 
must have intelligence, and they can't get in again. 
When the army arrives I shall see it safe round the 
Cape, and proceed Avith the last part of your orders."^ 
To his oAvn disposition, therefore, he clung. What the 
new orders Avere Ave shall see. 

To the southward the covering combination was com- 
pleted by Saunders. All through May and June he had 

1 Hawke to the Admiralty, June 25, " OIT St. Helen's," and July 9, 
" Finisterre, 9 leagues," In-letterx, 92. 

1762 THE HERMIONE 321 

been cruising in the Gut, held there by so much of 
Choiseul's war plan as had been realised. Early in June 
the Cartagena squadron put to sea. It returned in a 
week, but no sooner did Saunders hear it was in port 
again than he received intelligence that the Toulon 
squadron was about to sail, and that troops were con- 
centrating in the port. Their real purpose was to re- 
inforce the French garrison in Minorca, since it was 
impossible to tell that Port Mahon was not the objective 
of the British force coming from Belleisle. A report, 
however, was spread that Gibraltar was to be besieged, 
and at the end of June the Toulon squadron did actually 
put to sea. Saunders was thus held more firmly than 
ever. But he was not without reward. Prizes came fast, 
and among them one of the most famous in our annals. 
This was the treasure ship Hermione, that had sailed from 
Lima before the declaration of war was known. On May 
loth she was met and captured off Cape St. Mary, on 
the Algarve coast, only a day's sail from home, by two 
of Saunders's cruisers — the Active (28) and Favourite 
(18), Captains Sawyer and Pownal. So enormously rich 
did she prove that, after deducting all expenses, more 
than half a million sterling was distributed in prize- 

The Toulon squadron was still out when Saunders heard 
the Belleisle troops were moving. For the moment, in 
his clear appreciation of the position, their safe passage 
into the Tagus overrode all other considerations, and 
he did not hesitate to leave the Gut and move up to 
blockade the Cadiz squadron. The result of the com- 

1 Saunders to the Admiralty, June 16, In-letters, 384. Saunders and 
the two fortunate captains had about £65,000 each, and the share of 
every seaman was nearly £500. The commissioned officers had £13,000 
each. — Beatson, vol. iii. p. 419. 



bination between him and Hawke was an entire success. 
The Toulon squadron, after landing the troops which 
Saunders had heard of at Minorca, returned to Hyeres 
and made no attempt to come out ; the Belleisle trans- 
ports passed into Lisbon without interruption either 
from Ferrol or Cadiz ; and within a week Saunders had 
resumed his position in the Gut.^ 

Once arrived, the British troops lost no time in getting 
to work. Lord Loudoun, called from his long retirement, 
was in command as second to Tyrawley ; Townshend was 
third ; Burgoyne, of American fame, had a brigade ; and 
with them came a number of officers to organise the 
Portuguese army, and three naval captains for their fleet. 
With this assistance they were able to hold their own. 
At Oeyras's request the British Government had sent out 
Count zu Lippe-Brlickeberg, one of Prince Ferdinand's 
ablest lieutenants in Westphalia, to take supreme com- 
mand. Under him the defence was conducted with great 
skill and spirit, and though the French sent a dozen 
battalions to the Spaniards' assistance, they were never 
able to do more than capture a few unimportant places 
on the frontier. Oporto was for a moment in danger, 
but Lisbon was never even approached ; and Saunders, 
maintaining his watch on the Algarve coast, successfully 
prevented any attempt to penetrate the country from the 

The fresh orders which Hawke had received, with the 
shallow criticism of his strategy, instructed him, as soon 
as he had seen the troops in safety, to cruise between 
Finisterre and the south of Ireland for a month to en- 

^ Saunders to the Admiralty, July 21 and Aug. 17, ibid. He was off 
Cadiz on July 15. Hawke parted with the transports on the 14th. 

2 For a detailed account of the campaign see Pajol, Guerres sous 
ouis XV,, vol. vi. oh. iv. 


deavour to intercept Blenac on his return. Accord- 
ingly, after parting with the transports on July 14th, 
he made for Cape Clear, confident that Blenac would 
steer for Brest. In three weeks he was standing back 
again, and having made Ortegal without any sign of 
his quarry he bore up for England, according to orders, 
and struck his flag for the last time at Torbay on 
August 23rd. So to the end his ill luck dogged him. 
It is true that, like Saunders, he had a number of fat 
prizes to his credit, but Blenac had not moved from Cap 

Hawke was immediately relieved by Sir Charles Hardy. 
The Government was once more nervous about the Brest 
squadron. Mann was off Ushant with seven of the line, 
but that did not content them. They had certain news, 
moreover, that Blenac was bringing home the French 
trade, and our own East and West India fleets were due. 
Hardy was therefore to take every ship he could lay 
hands on and cruise in the Soundings for six weeks, but 
he had no more luck than Hawke.^ Blenac, arriving 
with the now familiar happy gale which opened Brest, 
got safely in, and the French took no action in the 
Channel. The war was indeed over, and nothing came 
of Choiseul's grandiose projects for a counter-stroke but 
an idle raid on Newfoundland, 

Still it must be said that from a naval point of view the 
operation was very brilliantly conducted, and it success- 
fully diverted a force more than double its own. Its 
hero was the Chevalier de Ternay, who had served as a 
lieutenant in Conflans's action with Hawke. Since then, 
with another lieutenant, the Comte d'Hector, he had 
highly distinguished himself at various times by getting 
no less than five ships of the line and a frigate out of 

' Secret Orders, 1332, Sept. 2. 


the Villaine and into Brest in spite of the vigilance of the 
British blockading squadrons. For this both officers were 
given post rank, and on May 8th, 1762, by Choiseul's 
orders, Ternay, who had just brought in the last of the 
ships he saved, adroitly slipped out of Brest with two of 
the line, both of which he and his friend had rescued, 
two frigates, and a military force under M. de Haus- 

Reaching Newfoundland on June 20 th they quickly 
captured St. John's, seized a sloop in the harbour, and 
proceeded to destroy the fisheries and plunder the colony. 
They claimed to have destroyed nearly five hundred craft 
of all sizes, and to have inflicted damage to the extent of 
a million sterling, before they were interrupted. Nothing 
was known of the raid in England till the end of July, 
when orders were despatched to Colville on the North 
American station to see to it, and Captain Hugh Palliser 
with three of the line Avas sent to reinforce him. But 
Colville was already at work. When Ternay arrived, the 
governor, Captain Graves, the well-known admiral of the 
next war, was away with his ship at Placentia on the 
western side. He immediately sent off to New York to 
warn Amherst and Colville, and remained where he was 
to defend the port. Colville reached Placentia in person 
about August 20th with his flagship and a frigate, and 
after landing some of his marines to strengthen the 
garrison, he sailed with Graves for St. John's. As yet he 
had no troops, and could do little but prevent further 
depredations. But inferior as he was he boldly blockaded 

Owing to the efforts Amherst had made for the 
Havana expedition, no troops were available except those 
in the garrisons of Nova Scotia. They took some time 
to collect, but by September 11th fifteen hundred of 


them, a force only just equal to Haussonville's, reached 
Colville under Colonel Amherst, the general's brother. 
Graves had a plan of action ready which Colville at once 
adopted as better than his own, and in less than a week 
the enemy were driven from their advanced posts, and 
St. John's was invested. On the 16th, under cover of a 
dense fog. Colonel Amherst was able to make his final 
arrangements for attacking the place. Ternay saw all 
was lost, and he did not doubt a moment what to do. 
He had not brought his ships out of the Villaine, he said, 
to take such a place as St. John's, and he was determined 
to save them or make Colville pay dear for their capture. 
He too, therefore, seized the opportunity of the fog, as he 
had done so often before, towed out with his boats, stole 
quietly past Colville, and was far away beyond pursuit 
before the fog lifted. By good luck he just missed the 
superior squadron of Palliser, which arrived a day or two 
later, but on the 18 th, before it could appear, Hausson- 
ville surrendered. Ternay, it is pleasant to relate, after 
being chased off the coast of France by two British 
divisions, found refuge in Coruna.^ 

But the dreams of Ternay and his like of the jeune 
4cole — dreams of attempting one more bid for the com- 
mand of the sea — were not to be realised. For France 
to recover her broken navy from the blows which Hawke 
and Boscawen had dealt was beyond the national power 
so long as the war lasted. Choiseul knew it too well — 
the study of revenge was all that was left, and for 
that peace must be had. Though fresh alarms arose, 
Ternay's raid, to which the ambitious invasion project 
had dwindled, was the last effort of Choiseul to secure 

1 Lacour-Gayet, Marine sous Louis XV., p. 364; Beatson, vol. iii. p. 576 
et seq. ; Secret Orders, 1332, July 31 ; Amherst to Egremont, Aug. 15, 
S.P. Colonial (America and West Indies), 97. 


by force endurable terms. Spain had failed him ; every- 
where upon the sea the British fleet held him fast ; and 
there was nothing to look to except the negotiations. 
To these we must now return, and follow them to 
the end. 



It was at the beginning of April, as we have seen, that 
the secret negotiations which had been conducted through 
the Sardinian ambassadors reached a stage when direct 
and official communication with the French Court could 
begin. It was just at this time that our relations with 
Frederick were strained to breaking-point. Towards the 
end of March, it will be remembered, Frederick had re- 
ceived from the Czar Galitzin's report of his conversation 
with Bute, Aghast at what he naturally regarded as 
the shameless perfidy of the British Ministers, he practi- 
cally decided to have no more to do with them. In the 
first heat of his indignation he wrote to his envoy in St. 
Petersburg to agree at once to military co-operation with 
Peter in Holstein in return for a Russian corps to assist 
him against Austria, and on no account was a word to be 
said to Keith. To Denmark, who was growing uneasy 
and had appealed to England, he wrote a friendly letter 
to lull her into security, and immediately afterwards to 
St. Petersburg again to ascertain if Peter wished to extend 
his operations to the conquest of Schleswig. Frederick 
pointed out that it was a perfectly safe operation, and 
with an expression of his own readiness to assist, he 
enclosed a complete war plan for the purpose. 

If we would judge Frederick fairly for this unscrupulous 
step, if indeed we would form anything like an impartial 
estimate of the whole unhappy quarrel, which even yet has 

328 BUTE'S PEACE 1762 

not ceased to embitter Ansflo- Prussian relations, one con- 
trolling consideration must not be forgotten. For purely- 
geographical reasons alone a Russian alliance was, and 
must always be, of higher value to Prussia than a British 
alliance. At the moment also, it must be borne in mind, 
the very existence of Prussia seemed to hang on the 
possibility of gaining the friendship of Russia, and 
Frederick could see no way in which it was to be pur- 
chased except by the sacrifice of the Danish duchies. It 
meant offence to England, but he had to choose between 
the old ally and the new, and seeing how desperate was 
his position he could not hesitate in the choice. With 
the best will in the world to do him justice, it is 
impossible to miss, both in his conduct and his utterances 
at this time, symptoms of an uneasy conscience — it is 
impossible to avoid a suspicion that a plausible reason 
for breaking with England was not un^velcome. When 
Mitchell afterwards taxed him with his knowledge of 
Galitzin's notorious French and Austrian sympathies he 
could make no reply. He simply passed by what he 
obviously felt was a very weak link in his case ; and yet to 
the end he never ceased to justify his grievance against 
England, on the very point with which he always shirked 
to deal. The truth seems to be that while his direct and 
unvarnished political methods determined him rightly 
enough to let no tenderness for England and her engage- 
ments stand in the way of binding Russia to his cause, 
he was at the same time anxious to go on using England, 
or if that were impossible, to throw the whole odium of 
the change of front upon her. " I laugh at the friend- 
ship of England," he said, even in the darkest hours of 
his fortunes, " if it is no use to me." ^ Bute's clumsiness 
had given him just the handle he wanted, and whether 

^ Politische Con:, vol. xviii. p. 630, Nov. 12, 1759. 


or not he really believed the Galitzin story, it would be 
absurd to blame him for taking a quick hold and making 
the most of it. That he was playing a double game is as 
certain as that he had a very pretty excuse for doing so. 

To any soothing representation from Knyphausen and 
Michel, his Ministers in London, he would not listen a 
moment, but fell to scolding them in a manner which 
well betrays his state of mind. " I think, gentlemen," he 
said, " you are Bute's clerks. You don't seem to be 
Prussians. Your father, Knyphausen, used to take 
money from France and England, and was broken for it. 
Has he bequeathed the habit to you ? " ^ Poor Knyp- 
hausen was meanwhile doing his best. That same day 
he presented Bute with a formal demand for the com- 
munication of the overtures to Vienna. Bute immedi- 
ately showed him his correspondence with Yorke. It was 
innocent enough, as we know, and all there was to show ; 
and Bute, not content with defending himself, chose in 
his clumsy way to proceed to counter-attack. He caused 
the King, as wo have already seen, to send his indignant 
personal protest to Frederick for having vouchsafed no 
reply to his request for the Prussian views about peace, and 
he instructed Mitchell to desire that Knyphausen should 
be reprimanded for sending libellous reports about the 
Vienna overture.^ Nothing could have been more ill- 
advised. Mitchell was even then writing to say that 
peace between Prussia and Russia was on the point of 
being concluded, and it was of the utmost importance to 
treat Frederick tenderly, so as to share the advantages of 
the new coalition. He urged, therefore, that for the 

1 Pditische Corr., vol. xxi. pp. 312, 316-8, March 23-5 ; despatch to Goltz, 
March 28, pp. 323-7. 

- Bute to Mitchell, March 20 and 30 ; George III. to Frederick, March 30. 
— Adolphus, vol. i. p. 488 et seq. 

3 30 BUTE'S PEACE 1762 

moment at any rate tlie excuses about the Duchies which 
he would certainly make should be accepted, and on no 
account should his temper be spoilt by dealing with him 
as a pecuniary dependent. In spite of the sound advice, as 
we know, Bute demanded a categorical disavowal of the 
Schleswig-Holstein intrigue, on pain of the subsidy being 

Bute and Frederick were now at arm's length, and each 
went the best way to widen the breach. Frederick, after 
his manner, took a clear view of the situation, and pro- 
ceeded to act upon it. He convinced himself that the 
suspicious attitude of the British Ministers was solely 
due to the mess they had got themselves into with the 
Spanish war, and the defence of Portugal that it involved. 
" All the same," he wrote to General Goltz, his envoy in 
St. Petersburg, " it would be doing the English nation an 
injustice to attribute to them a proceeding of this nature. 
It is the Earl of Bute and the Duke of Bedford who are 
the sole authors of this pretty scheme, and the nation, 
with the Chevalier Pitt at its head, would be as much 
revolted by it as I have cause to be, if they came to 
know of it."^ Such expressions constantly recur in his 
correspondence. So far he had measured English senti- 
ment with perfect accuracy, and saw that if he still hoped 
to get anything out of it his only game was to upset Bute 
as Choiseul had upset Pitt. Knyphausen and his colleague 
were therefore directed to approach Pitt. After informing 
him of the whole " perfidy," they were to consult him as 
to the propriety of their making a declaration to the King 
that they could no longer negotiate with such a minister 
as Bute, and of communicating his conversation with 

* Mitchell to Bute, March 25, Mitchell Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 279 ; Bute to 
Mitchell. — April 9, Adolphus, vol, i. p. 491. 
' Politiache Corr., vol. xxi. p. 320, March 27. 


Galitzin to Frederick's friends in both Houses. Frederick 
gave them further to understand that if nothing was to 
be done in this direction they were to consider that, 
though he did not actually recall them, they only held 
their place in order to watch Bute's tricks.^ 

The whole series of his despatches to London since 
Pitt's fall had been full of the same kind of insulting 
expressions as had embittered his relations with the 
Czarina Elizabeth, Maria Theresa, and the Pompadour. 
Many of them reached Bute's ears, and they inflamed 
his antipathy, and that of the Court, to burning-point. 
The consequence was that when Pitt was consulted 
by Knyphausen he could only say that Frederick's 
plan was impracticable. He was, in any case, too good 
an Englishman to permit, or even encourage, foreign 
interference with home politics. He therefore put the 
Prussians ofl" by saying that the subjection into which 
Bute had reduced the King made any denunciation of 
him useless, and as for Parliament, the Court party was 
now so strong that nothing could be done there." " Pitt 
was of course absolutely right, and Frederick did not for 
a moment question his advice. He was contented to 
accept the situation, and instructed Knyphausen to devote 
himself to keeping a strict watch, and to fomenting the 
discord between Bute and Newcastle. 

Meanwhile the French proposals had been forwarded 
to Viri, and were being considered by the British govern- 
ment. Choiseul declared himself ready to persuade 
Spain to settle her three points in a manner acceptable 
to us. The question of prizes taken during the war Avas 
to be left to our courts ; we were to destroy our fortified 

^ Tbid., pp. 365 and 425 ; Newcastle to Yorke, May 14, Newcastle Papers^ 

* Polilischc Corr., vol. xxi. p. 469 and note. 

332 BUTE'S PEACE 1762 

posts in Honduras, and to retain our right to cut logwood ; 
and as for her right of fishing in Newfoundland waters, it 
was pointed out that in the last century she had only 
sent two ships. The claim was a mere point of honour, 
and Choiseul suggested the matter might well be left as 
it was. For herself, France was ready to acknowledge 
Canada as conquered, but was not satisfied with St. Pierre 
as an ahri. She must have more, but was willing that 
England should take precautions to secure that no forti- 
fications were erected. On the West Coast of Africa she 
merely wanted one station for the slave trade, Goree or 
Senegal. In India England could propose a settlement. 
In Europe she would restore Minorca, and evacuate the 
territory of the King of England and his allies. This, 
Choiseul considered, could be done without difiiculty by 
finding a formula which would remove all suspicion of 
deserting their respective allies. Belleisle he regarded, 
so he said, as too trivial a conquest even to mention, well 
knowing that this view was shared by most of Pitt's 
political opponents. It was in the West Indies the crux 
of the settlement lay. The news of the conquest of 
Martinique and the Grenadines, with the rest of the 
neutral islands, had just come home, and he said he 
should have to add to the old demand for Gaudeloupe 
and Mariegalante the restitution of Martinique and an 
equitable division of the neutral islands. 

The proposals arrived on April 22nd. On the whole 
they were well received. It was easily agreed to add 
the Island of Miquelon to St. Pierre as an ahri for the 
fisheries, but the West Indian demands staggered every 
one. Cabinet after Cabinet was held and Viri worked 
hard. The general feeling was that, if we gave up 

^ Choiseul to Solar, with the accompaujiDg proposal, April 15, Lansdowiie 
House MSS. 


Martinique, we ought to have something substantial 
in return. Gaudeloupe or Louisiana were regarded 
as reasonable equivalents, and so strongly was this 
opinion supported, particularly by Granville, that Egre- 
mont was instructed to draft his reply accordingly. It 
was not until the last moment, when an extraordinary 
Council was summoned finally to settle the draft and 
Grenville was too ill to attend, that Bute seized the 
moment to intervene.^ "When we met again," he 
wrote to the Duke of Bedford, " to hear Lord Egre- 
mont's despatch read over, I ventured to fling out the 
following opinion : that on weighing attentively the offer 
we had made for restoring Martinique on the French 
ceding Guadeloupe or Louisiana, I frankly owned I saw 
no probability of peace. They certainly would not accept 
these terms, and if so war must be continued." To avert 
this he proposed that we should demand instead "the 
neutral islands and the Grenada, and that, to prevent all 
further disputes in North America, the Mississippi should 
be the boundary between the two nations." The com- 
promise was probably the suggestion of Viri ; but who- 
ever was its inventor, it was certainly ingenious. For 
while the Mississippi line had the colour of being a mere 
method of securing a natural geographical boundary, it 
would give us the ports of Mobile and New Orleans in 
the Gulf of Mexico, or all there was worth having in 
Louisiana. Newcastle and Devonshire, Bute says, heartily 

So the matter was settled, and they went on to 
discuss the explosive question of the Prussian subsidy. 
Newcastle, Hardwicke, and Devonshire would not budge 
from their position that it must be continued. Mansfield 
would say nothing, but " the other Lords," Bute says, 

* Orenville Papers, vol. i. p. 450. 

334 BUTE'S PEACE 1762 

" thought it highly improper to continue it under the 
load of evidence we have of the most determined enmity 
of that Prince and under our own necessitous circum- 
stances."^ Considering that Frederick's representatives 
at the moment, with the obvious intention of wrecking 
the peace, were trying to induce the city to petition 
against the retrocession of Martinique, it must be owned 
that Bute and " the other Lords " had some grounds for 
their attitude.^ 

So deep, indeed, was the exasperation of the Court 
party at the way Frederick was behaving, as they 
honestly believed without any just provocation, that 
Bute made up his mind that the interval of waiting 
for the French answer must be used in getting rid of 
the old Prussian party in the Cabinet. He accordingly 
commenced an intrigue which rapidly brought his dis- 
cord with Newcastle to a head, and saved the Prussian 
Legation the pains of fomenting it. 

Newcastle's loyalty to Frederick had always gone far 
to redeem his career from mere political opportunism, and 
he was now using all the weight of his powerful con- 
nection in a last desperate effort to secure a renewal of 
the Prussian Treaty. Parliament, having been prorogued 
a month before, had just been summoned for the purpose 
of obtaining a supplementary grant. Bute proposed to 
ask for no more than a million, and to earmark it for 
Portugal. Newcastle was for demanding two millions 
and not restricting the expenditure to Portugal, and he 
was warmly supported in the Cabinet by Devonshire, 
Hardwicke, and Mansfield. Bute regarded so large a 

^ Bute to Bedford, May 1, Bedford Corr., vol. iii. p. I'u 

* Viri to Solar, May 4, Lansdowne House MSJS. This is a separate letter 

from that of the same date in which Viri communicated the results of the 



sum as beyond our resources. Newcastle, as bead of the 
Treasury, pronounced that we could easily afford it. Bute, 
however, was not to be beaten. He went behind New- 
castle's back, and secretly got a declaration from the 
Treasury officials that no more than a million could be 
raised. An irregularity so offensive was more than even 
Newcastle's tenacity of office could endure. " I send 
your lordship," he wrote to Hardwicke on May 10th, 
just as Parliament was reassembling, " direct proof ... of 
such a behaviour in my lord Bute to me in my office, as 
hardly any gentleman ever acted towards another, let him 
be ever so insignificant." 

Three days later Grenville moved in the House of 
Commons for a million for the defence of Portugal. Pitt 
in one of his best speeches supported the motion, but he 
declared himself not content with it. He implored the 
ministers to ask a larger sum, that we might do our duty 
to the King of Prussia. It was but ten days since 
Knyphausen had brought him Frederick's appeal for 
help, and he did his best to honour it ; but still, true to 
his principles, he would not stir a finger to encourage his 
royal admirer in his ill-judged interference with British 
politics. He would not move himself, he told the House, 
for a continuation of the Prussian subsidy, because he 
did not think it became him to oppose the King's 
servants. But if such a motion were made he w^ould 
support it. He earnestly begged, if a cloud arose between 
London and Berlin — and ho knew too well how black a 
cloud there was, and how much Frederick was to blame 
for it — that the situation might be handled without temper 
and for reconciliation. In his peroration he made one more 
passionate appeal to lift his country from the degradation 
to which Bute was dragging it, and to inspire his sup- 
planters with something of his own heroic statesmanship. 

3 36 BUTE'S PEACE 1762 

Recalling our long succession of victories in all parts of 
the world, and how favourable was our situation since 
the break up of Kaunitz's coalition, he called on them to 
act now " upon a great system while it was in their 
power." " A million more," he said, " would be a pittance 
to place you at the head of Europe, and enable you to 
treat with efficacy and dignity. Save it not in the last 
critical year ! give the million to the war at large, and 
add three, four, or five hundred thousand pounds more 
to Portugal, or avow to the House of Bourbon you are 
not able to treat at the head of your allies." ^ 

His lofty appeal made a great impression on the House, 
but on the ministers it was thrown away. One million 
only was voted, and voted for Portugal, and next day 
Newcastle tendered his resignation. None of his friends 
followed his example — indeed, he had begged them not 
to do so. He fell alone and unregretted, a feeble victim 
of the blunderer for whom he had betrayed Pitt. But 
pitiable as was the figure he cut, he was not yet defeated. 
There still clung to him the intangible force of political 
aptitude which had enabled him so long to control the 
machinery of State. Every one felt it. Bute and the 
King did their best to get him to accept some favour 
as Pitt had done, but with a courage and dignity that 
touches his fall with light, he firmly refused every offer 
either for himself or his family, and retired into the 
country to nurse the forces of opposition which began 
at once to gather round him.^ 

But for the time Bute was master, and the power of 
the old oligarchy was broken. The triumphant favourite 

1 From Horace Walpole's Report, Memoirs of George III., vol. i. 
pp. 163-6. 

2 For a detailed account of the whole affair by Newcastle, see his 
" most secret" letter to Yorke, May 14, Newcastle Papers, 32,938. 


became First Lord of the Treasury. Grenville took liis 
place as Secretary of State, and with Egremont they had 
complete control of the negotiations. Before leaving the 
Foreign Office Bute was careful to send to Berlin a 
detailed defence of his conduct, which amounted also to 
a declaration of the polic}^ he meant to pursue. Parlia- 
ment rose again in a few days without havmg granted a 
subsidy to Prussia, and Bute felt he must explain why 
it was withheld. Shortly the new policy was based on 
the new situation. " We," wrote Bute in the pith of 
his despatch, " have a very powerful additional enemy 
to contend with ; His Prussian Majesty has a new and 
very powerful friend. The weight of Spain is thrown 
into our opposite scale ; that of Russia, and Sweden too, 
is taken out of his. The King of Prussia had Pomerania 
and Brandenburg to defend, besides Saxony and Silesia : 
the two former are no longer in danger. We had, on our 
part, a most expensive land war to support in Germany : 
we must now provide for another in Portugal." ^ 

The British case was perfectly good if Bute had had 
the sense and candour to put it to Frederick at the first. 
There was ample reason for discontinuing Frederick's 
subsidy. We were in no way bound to provide it when 
the danger on which it was originally based disappeared. 
We were doing Frederick no wrong. He did not even 
pretend we were. The negotiations had been regularly 
communicated to him from the moment they were officially 
on foot ; he had had copies of the material documents, and 
had been invited to express his views.^ What we were 
doing in the matter was much what he himself had pro- 
posed to Pitt. He kneAv as well as any one that the 

» Bute to Mitchell, May 26, Mitchell Papers, vol. xvii., Add. MSS. 6820, 
and printed by Adolphus, vol. i. p. 493, and Bisset, vol. ii. p. 294. 
2 Bute to Mitchell, April 9 and 30, MitchtJl Papers, vol. xvii. p. 6820. 

338 BUTE'S PEACE 1762 

only way to bring the war to a speedy end was for us 
to come to terms with France. The main issue once 
decided, the subordinate continental war, which had 
attached itself to the imperial struggle, must collapse. 
Under Pitt, therefore, he had fully endorsed the policy 
of a separate negotiation with France. His grievance 
now and till the end was not that, but that he could not 
trust Bute. He had made up his mind that he was going 
to be betrayed, and Bute did his worst to confirm the 
impression. He was hand-in-glove with Frederick's arch- 
enemy, the Duke of Bedford, and actually had selected 
him to go to Paris as British Plenipotentiary so soon as 
the negotiations were sufficiently advanced. The most 
ardent French patriot could not have invented a better 
scheme for weakening our hand. Bedford, by his exag- 
gerated behaviour, had stamped himself as an advocate 
for peace at any price. Choiseul could scarcely conceal 
his delight at having such a simpleton as Bute to deal 
with. He was as eager to keep him in power as Frederick 
was to get rid of him. Indeed, during the late minis- 
terial crisis he had become so much alarmed for the 
security of Bute's position that he solemnly warned Solar 
to let the King of England know that unless Bute 
remained in power he would have nothing more to do 
with the negotiations. " I would rather go and row in 
the galleys," he said, "than have to discuss any kind 
of peace with Mr. Pitt." ^ 

On Bute's becoming First Lord of the Treasury he was 
reassured, and the negotiations could proceed. Bute, 
fooled and flattered by Choiseul's expressions of regard, 
was like clay in the hands of the accomplished veteran. 

- Choiseul to Solar, May 13, Bedford Corr., vol. iii, p. 84. "Nous avons 
eu une peur effroiable du chaugeruent du Ministere," same to same. May 25. 
— Lansdovme House MSS. 


He was beaten at every turn, and liad it not been for 
Grenville's stiffness, and the awe of Pitt in which Bute 
stood, there is no knowing to what lengths of unstable 
concession he would not have gone. 

The first and decisive trial of strength took place, as 
before, over the question of naval position. It was in- 
evitable that it should be so, seeing that the whole war 
was a struggle for maritime empire. Directly Grenville's 
despatch reached Paris with the British reply to the 
terms Choiseul had proposed. Solar sent over a warning 
that France would never abandon all the neutral islands. 
The crux was, of course, St. Lucia. We have seen the 
importance which English strategy had come to attach 
to it as the commanding naval position of the Windward 
Islands. Choiseul was equally aware of its value, and on 
this he took his most determined stand. He was not, 
indeed, satisfied with St. Pierre and Miquelon as dbris for 
the fishery. He wanted Cape Breton Island too, but as 
he must have known this would not be granted he 
intimated he would be satisfied with a drying station on 
its shores. It was St. Lucia that he refused to swallow. 
" The restitution of Martinique," he wrote, " will be a 
precarious restitution if England blockades it to leeward 
and to windward by keeping St. Lucia and Dominica. 
There would be nothing left for France but to renew 
the war as soon as she was able." 

The whole despatch is characteristic of his method. 
He stated his position with the assumption of an almost 
cynical candour. There was, he said, no example in 
history of a victor retaining all his conquests beyond 
the sea, and this for three good reasons. Firstly, such 
acquisitions were very costly at the outset to the metro- 
politan country ; secondly, it made an enduring peace 
impossible ; and thirdly, because, as the case of Spain 

340 BUTE'S PEACE 1762 

herself proved, such conquests were extremely difficult 
to maintain. For these reasons, he said, he intended 
to persist in his attitude, as knowing that its inherent 
and fundamental strength made it impossible for us to 
resist. With equal candour he explained that his claim 
was of the essence of his colonial policy. On principle 
he objected to the whole American system. He did not 
believe in colonies — better far, he thought, for a country 
to devote its strength to developing its own resources. 
There were, however, certain luxuries, like coffee and 
sugar, which had become necessaries to the French 
people, and which they could not produce at home. 
Colonial possessions, therefore, for the production of 
such articles, he regarded as legfitimate and even neces- 
sary. That was the simple extent of his ideas of Colonial 
expansion — he wished nothing more, but so much he 
must have, and could not leave at the mercy of the 
British navy. For India, on the same principle, he 
would be content with simple factories in Bengal and 
on the Coromandel and Malabar coasts, but he must 
retain Mauritius and Bourbon. He therefore reiterated 
his demand for Guadeloupe, Mariegalante, and Mar- 
tinique, with the addition of St. Lucia, but in return 
he was ready to give us Mobile and the line of the 
Mississippi, but not to the sea. It must diverge at 
La Belle Riviere to Lake Pontchartrain, so as to leave 
New Orleans to France. 

Having thus clearly defined his position beyond the 
seas, he attacked the German question. Here the only 
real difficulty was Cleves, Wesel, and Gueldres, with the 
rest of the Prussian territory on the Lower Rhine. These 
he intimated he was willing to evacuate with the rest of 
Germany, but in that he was bound by his alliance to 
regard them as Austrian conquests he could not do so 


without the consent of Vienna. This, he urged, would 
take time and delay the peace. He therefore proposed 
that the Prussian Rhenish towns should be held by French 
or Austrian troops till a general peace was secured, and 
that England should give an assurance that no part of 
Ferdinand's army in her pay should join Frederick. 

His Memoir was accompanied by a note from Choiseul 
to Solar, in which he explained that Grimaldi, whom he 
detested for an ill-mannered braggart, objected violently 
to any concession to England in the Gulf of Mexico, and 
was talking very big. The little Spanish successes in 
Portugal had turned his head, and he was confident that 
the British expedition to Havana would end in disaster. 
But Choiseul was not afraid of his bragging. " I cajole 
M. de Grimaldi," he said, " as though I were his own 
heart's dupe." The importance of a rapid settlement, he 
urged, was that Russia must be prevented from upsetting 
all Europe with her Tartars under Frederick's direction ; 
but he could not secure it at the price of St. Lucia. " I 
tell you frankly, my dear ambassador," he wrote, " if 
England persists in wanting it I shall advise the Council 
to break off negotiations." He was ready, however, to 
give up the Grenadines. " I don't mention Belleisle in 
my Memoir," he added. " I have always maintained 
that it was a folly England committed in undertaking 
that conquest." ^ 

In England the Memoir produced so bad an impres- 
sion, especially by what most of the ministers regarded as 
the French chicanerie about St. Lucia and the abris, that 
it was a month before an answer could be sent. The 
period of silence that the delay entailed could only in- 
crease Frederick's mistrust. His military position had 

^ " Memoire du Due dc Choiseul," May 25, and Choiseul to Solaii 
May 27, LausdowHc JJnasi: JZ-S'.b'. 

342 BUTE'S PEACE 1762 

been materially improved. A victory of Prince Henry 
had given him back Freyburg, and with growing elation 
he was ordering his ministers in London to attach them- 
selves to the opposition which was forming round New- 
castle under the patronage of the Duke of Cumberland, 
till they saw a chance of " breaking the neck of a minister 
so little versed in affairs, so inconsequent and without 
system." " It is astounding," he said, " to see Lord Bute 
not only acting against all rules of good faith, prudence, 
and even politics, but playing the game so clumsily that 
if he loses, it can only cost his master the confidence of 
the nation. As for me, I will not confound this minister 
with the King and the nation." ^ 

It was a strange coincidence that immediately after 
the French Memoir was received, and peace was seen to 
turn on our future naval position in the West Indies, 
Anson, who best knew the strategical value of St. Lucia, 
died. " Who will succeed him ? " wrote Newcastle. " Some 
say Hawke, but I hardly believe they will do so right a 
thing." They did not. Halifax was confirmed in his 
appointment, and according to Barrington, who had suc- 
ceeded Grenville as Treasurer of the Navy, it was with 
the full approval of Pitt and Cleveland, the veteran 
secretary.^ In any case it made little difference to the 
burning question. For Grenville, too, with his long ex- 
perience at the Admiralty, knew St. Lucia's value well 
enough, and continued violently to oppose the concession. 
A Cabinet to settle the matter was held on June 21st. 
Bedford and Bute were both for giving way, but the feel- 
ing was too strong for them, and a tart reply agreed 

^ Frederick to Kuyphausen and Mitchell, June 10, Politischc Corr., 
vol. xxi. p. 523. 

* Newcastle to Devonshire, June 10, Newcastle Papers, 32,939 ; Barrington 
to Newcastle, June 21, ibid., 32,940. 


to. Displeasure was frankly expressed at France's not 
accepting the extra abri offered, and some resentment at 
the refusal of the whole Mississippi line after the large 
concessions we had made, and especially at the demand 
for St. Lucia. To this they said it was impossible to 
agree, nor could they consent to the proposed arrange- 
ment about Wesel and Gueldres without consulting 
Prussia, but they were ready to fall back on the old plan 
of both sides retiring from German territory altogether. 
To smooth matters a little Viri was informed that Bedford 
would go as plenipotentiary when the time came ; but in 
the same breath Egrernont warmly expressed to him his 
surprise that France could have so much regard for her 
treaty with Austria and so little for ours with Prussia. 
Egremont further said we were not to be frightened by a 
Russian bogy — in fact, we looked upon a Russo-Prussian 
alliance as an excellent counterpoise to the Family 

So far, then, it will be seen there had been little giving 
way and no disloyalty to Prussia. Bute, however, as 
though bound to commit every mistake within his reach, 
made no further communication to Frederick as to how 
the negotiations Avere proceeding. The natural inference 
was that we had something to hide, whereas the truth 
was that so far from deserting Frederick we had taken 
up so strong an attitude in his interest that, in the 
opinion of most people, a continuation of hostilities was 
inevitable. Orders indeed were now issued to Ferdinand 
for a new campaign in Westphalia. There was as yet no 
word from Spain or news from Pocock and Albemarle. 
Even Ligonier grew nervous that what he had divined of 
Choiseul's war plan would be carried out. He saw forty- 

1 Egremonfc to Viri, June 20 (enclosing the British Memoir) ; Viri to 
Solar, June 27, Lansdowne House MfiiS. 

344 BUTE'S PEACE 1762 

five thousand men cantoned along the opposite coast. 
Hawke was taking the Channel Fleet to Ferrol, and there 
were neither troops nor ships enough at home, in his 
opinion, to stop an invasion if it were intended. His 
fear Avas that the Channel Fleet might be overwhelmed 
by a Franco-Spanish concentration, unless Saunders and 
Hawke had orders to unite. He hoped they had, but 
did not know. 

Hawke and Saunders, as we have seen, had no such 
instructions, and they knew better than to club their 
fleets m a lump. They had passed beyond such crude 
ideas of naval concentration, and as we know had arranged 
between them a subtler and more elastic combination, 
which rendered impossible the concentration Ligonier 
feared. Still he was none the less anxious. Like so 
many of our best soldiers before and since, so long as 
he saw across the water troops in sufficient strength 
to make an invasion, he thought invasion possible. He 
told Newcastle, however, that he could not get any one 
to listen to him, and in a kind of heroic despair that if 
anything happened he meant to gather the flower of his 
troops round London and do his best.^ 

As it happened his apprehensions were groundless, 
even on military grounds. The danger, such as it ever 
was, had already passed. In view of the unpromising 
nature of the French reply, it had been decided as 
we have seen, to hold Ferdinand's hand no longer. 
Granby went over to his command, and both sides were 
already mobilising for a fresh campaign. D'Estrees and 
Soubise had been ordered to join hands, and had 
advanced northward from Cassel towards the Diemal 

1 "List of the French Army in Flanders under M. de Heronville," 
May 21, Newcastle Papers, 32,939 ; Newcastle to Hardwicke, June 28 ; 
same to Devonshire, June 29, ibid., 32,940. 


behind which Ferdinand was at work. The French 
Marshals appear to have thought the war was over. 
Soubise, so it was said in the City, was at this time 
making immense purchases in the EngUsh funds, and the 
French Court was following his example.^ The Marshals 
at any rate made the loosest dispositions, took no precau- 
tions against surprise, and Ferdinand, with his usual 
promptitude, seized the chance. Secretly concentrating 
his force, he suddenly passed the Diemal, and after a 
night march flung himself upon the French camp. There 
was a hard struggle. The French had seventy thousand 
men to Ferdinand's forty, but in the end they were driven 
back in confusion under the walls of Cassel. The exul- 
tation in England was great ; for again a large share of 
the glory had fallen to Granby and the British troops. 
He had executed a difficult and well-sustained flank 
attack that had proved decisive, and more than half the 
allies' loss was in his corps. The relief was immediate. 
News quickly came that the French army of the Lower 
Rhine had marched to the support of the defeated Mar- 
shals ; that the Maison du Roi, which was at Dunkirk, had 
orders to hurry in the same direction ; and that the force 
which Ligonier was watching so anxiously was to be 
broken up.^ 

It was in the midst of the rejoicings over the victory 
that the next communication arrived from France. It 
amounted to nothing, however, but their last proposal 

' Newcastle to Yorke, June 25, ibid. Later he reported that Walpole, a 
well-known broker, and Vanneck, his partner, had received from De Borde, 
"a creature of Choiseul's," £100,000 to invest in the Funds. Same to 
Cumberland, July 11, ibid. This is to some extent confirmed bj Solar, 
who wrote to Viri on Aug. 22 that everything was being told to " M. de la 
Borde, the Court banker," apparently for him to use the information. He 
was sending expresses everywhere, and had probably sent Vanneck to 
London. — Lansdoivne House MSS., Aug. 22. 

- Hague Advices, July 9, ibid. 

346 BUTE'S PEACE 1762 

reduced to formal articles and regularly signed on behalf 
of France and Spain by Choiseul and Wall, whose general 
assent to treat had at last reached Paris. It was accom- 
panied by another note from Choiseul to Solar explaining 
that Austria had expressed herself as ready to agree 
to any settlement France might make with England, 
provided she sacrificed no territory and steps were 
taken to extinguish the war in every part of Europe. 
To this end she was ready to assent to a revival of the 
abortive Congress and to an armistice, and she desired 
that Frederick's views should be obtained through the 
British Court.^ 

Bute now found his position very delicate. Since 
Ferdinand's victory on the Diemal, Grenville and others 
who thought with him were naturally more determined 
than ever, but Bute and Egremont had taken a step 
behind their backs which made further resistance on the 
main point practically impossible. While waiting for the 
French answer they had told Viri, without saying a word 
to their colleagues, that if the reply were otherwise favour- 
able St. Lucia should not stand in the way of peace." 
The deception of course had to be kept up. To keep 
Grenville and his followers quiet, Egremont was obliged 
to present to Viri formal observations on the French 
articles in which the original British attitude was firmly 
maintained. It was impossible, he repeated, after sacri- 
ficing Guadeloupe and Martinique, to give up St. Lucia 
too, nor did loyalty to Prussia permit them to accept the 
proposals about Wesel and Gueldres without Frederick's 

Viri was now almost in despair. " You can't tell," 

^ " Projet des Articles de Paix dresse par le France," and Choiseul to 
Solar, June 28, Lansdoione House MSS. 

* Viri to Solar, June 28, Lanadoionc House MSS. 


he wrote to Solar, " how Grenville bothers us. He 
may be sound at heart but he wants popularity, and the 
worst of it is Egremont sometimes gets the same idea 
into his head." Since his last letters from Paris naturally 
referred to Bute's secret concession it was impossible to 
show them to Grenville. Viri told him they contained a 
definite declaration that if the British claim to St. Lucia 
and New Orleans were not abandoned the negotiations 
would be broken off. He had talked with him for six 
hours, but was sure six hours more would not make him 
give up St. Lucia, and Egremont was with him on New 
Orleans. He warned Solar, therefore, that France had 
better be careful and not make difficulties about the 
Mississippi line, for there was serious danger brewing 
from the gathering opposition. No one but Bute and 
Egremont yet knew of the offer about St. Lucia, and the 
only, he said, was to send at once an answer to 
the last British Memoir which must reveal nothing of 
the secret, so that it could be shown to the Cabinet. St. 
Lucia should be insisted on as a sine qua own, and a new 
line excluding new Orleans be proposed. It would also 
be well to offer a joint Anglo-French occupation of Wesel 
and Gueldres, but it must be understood that England 
had so far committed herself to her last suggestion for 
reciprocal evacuation of all German territory as to refer it 
to Frederick for his consent. Lastly, there was no need 
to worry about Portugal, for until Spain had evacuated 
it, England would simply not stir from Cuba.^ 

The Cabinet had in fact decided to break its long 
silence with Berlin, and to communicate the exact state 
of the negotiations, so far as they knew them, to Frederick, 
together with the Austrian proposal for a Congress and 
British mediation. All the documents were sent to 

1 Viri to Solar, July 12. 

348 BUTE'S PEACE 1762 

Mitchell, including the French proposals about Rhenish 
Prussia, and he was instructed to ask for a special inter- 
view with Frederick to ascertain his views.^ In this we 
undoubtedly see the determination of Grenville to deal 
loyally with our ally. 

No sooner, however, had this straightforward despatch 
gone off than Bute received a secret intimation from 
Paris that if St. Lucia were given up Choiseul would let 
nothing stop him concluding peace." But he pressed for 
a speedy settlement. In view of a growing anxiety in 
France lest Prussia and Austria should settle their 
differences first, he urged that plenipotentiaries should 
be exchanged to sign the preliminaries at the earliest 
moment. The effect upon Bute was to determine him 
to push the matter through at all costs. On July 19th 
he sent for Bedford and told him of the last French 
assurance. France, he said, had agreed to everything 
except New Orleans and the Prussian towns, which she 
declared must be given over to Austrian garrisons. She 
had also undertaken that Portugal should be evacuated, 
and that peace should be signed with Spain either in 
Paris or Madrid, as we preferred ; and in view of the 
importance she attached to plenipotentiaries being ex- 
changed at once, the King hoped Bedford would be able 
to set out in the middle of August. Bute further 
explained that in consenting to the French proposal they 
would have fulfilled all their ensrasfements to Prussia, 
and, as Bedford thought, was obviously anxious to make 
peace on the basis proposed by France.^ A day or two 
later the French answer on the lines Viri had suggested 
was received. St. Lucia and New Orleans were insisted 

1 Grenville to Mitchell, July 14, Mitchell Papem, Add. HtSS. 6820. 

* Solar to Viri, July 1). 

* Bedford Oorr., vol. iii. p. 88. 


on. As to Gueldres and Wesel, Choiseul protested he 
could not give them up without the consent of Austria, 
but undertook to propose nothing in regard to their 
final disposition which could be deemed contrary to His 
Britannic Majesty's loyalty to his allies.^ 

For Bute this was enough, and the Cabinet was called 
for July 29th to make the final decision. Since the 
resignation of Newcastle, Hardwicke had ceased to be 
summoned and Devonshire had refused to attend. 
Mansfield, still recalcitrant, had gone on circuit to be 
out of the way. Still the obstacles in Bute's path were 
great. Egremont only gave way on peremptory orders 
from the King that he was to hasten peace. Granville 
and Bedford were specially called up from the country, 
but the former proved unexpectedly obstinate. Bute 
had meant to talk to them both before the meeting, 
in order probably to let them into his secret understand- 
ing with Choiseul, but they arrived too late. Granville 
had been in secret concert with Egremont and Grenville, 
and at the Cabinet he took a strong line against 
Bute. Not only did he refuse to give way on St. Lucia, 
New Orleans, or the German article, but he protested we 
must come to terms with Spain before agreeing with 
France, since Grimaldi's language was still impossible on 
the question of our admittance into the Gulf of Mexico.^ 

Seeing how formidable a political figure Granville still 
was and that he was universally regarded as the highest 
authority on foreign affairs in the kingdom, Bute was at 
his wits' end. In fear of his head, he did not dare to act 
without him. With difficulty he secured an adjournment. 
Viri, who naturally could not estimate the importance of 
the naval questions involved, assured himself that the 
obstinacy of Grenville and his friends was solely due to 

' Lansdowne House MSS., July 20. - Ibid., Aug. I. 

350 BUTE'S PEACE 1762 

fear of the gathering opposition. If so, it was not only 
they who were afraid. Within living memory, Harley 
had been sent to the Tower for his share in the Peace of 
Utrecht on a charge of high treason. It was but five- 
and-twenty years since Walpole had narrowly escaped 
impeachment for preserving an unpopular neutrality, and 
it was Pitt who had voiced the national outcry. Bute 
could not forget it, or that it was mainly Newcastle's 
influence that had saved the fallen minister. In the 
midst, therefore, of his struggle with the Cabinet he 
made a desperate effort to re- open relations with his 
old chief, but only to encounter an icy rebuff.^ 

With Grenville and his recalcitrant supporters in the 
Cabinet he was more successful. In concert with the 
King and Viri he worked hard to bring them round. 
By July 31st they had been so far dominated as to pass 
a despatch to Choiseul, practically accepting the French 
terms, except those relating to Rhenish Prussia. The 
King, so Egremont was made to say, would give up New 
Orleans and St. Lucia, though with deep regret. He 
would also at once proceed to exchange plenipotentiaries. 
But on the question of Gueldres and Wesel, Bute had 
not been able to carry them so far. On that point 
Egremont had leave to say the King had already gone 
as far as he could without breaking faith with his ally, 
and Grenville wrote off to Mitchell to tell Frederick that 
we had decided to hold firm to our simple proposal of a 
general evacuation of German territory on both sides.^ 
So far, therefore, the Cabinet was perfectly loyal ; but, as 
the matter was not finally settled, it still to some extent 

^ Rockingham Memoirs, vol. i. p. 118. 

^ Egremont to Choiseul, July 31 ; Viri to Solar, Aug. 1, Lansdowne 
J/ouse MSS. ; Grenville to Mitchell, Aug. 2, Mitchell Papers, vol. xvii.. 
Add. MSS. 6820. 


rested in the hands of Bedford, and if Frederick still 
believed he was being betrayed by Bute he certainly had 
good reasons. 

The day after the decisive Cabinet, Mitchell saw 
Frederick at his headquarters in the field to make the 
formal communication of the negotiations and the Austrian 
proposal. Unfortunately he as yet knew nothing of the 
final decision to stand by Frederick on the question 
of Wesel and Gueldres, and it was otherwise a bad 
moment. A few weeks before, a revolution had taken 
place at St. Petersburg. Peter III., mainly for his violent 
Prussian sympathies, had been deposed. The great 
reign of the Czarina Katherine had begun, and her 
first step had been to withdraw the Russian contingent 
from Frederick's army, and her Marshal had forced the 
Prussians under his jurisdiction to take the oath of fidelity 
to her crown. How much more was to come could not 
yet be told. Mitchell consequently found the King cold, 
though still personally cordial. Frederick began by 
explaining to the ambassador the Russian revolution, and 
told him Peter had just died under suspicious circum- 
stances. Colberg, however, had been given up, the 
Marshal's action disavowed, and his troops ordered to 
evacuate Prussian territory. He also said that that very 
morning he had received a formal notification of the 
Czarina's intention to confirm the late peace, but not the 
offensive and defensive alliance. Mitchell then com- 
municated the negotiations and his master's desire to 
have Frederick's views upon the terms suggested, as 
showing the friendly disposition of the English Court, and 
affording an opening for British mediation with Vienna. 
At the mention of Vienna Frederick immediately froze, 
and the interview ended abruptly. Next day Mitchell 
handed the King the papers he had received from London, 

3 52 BUTE'S PEACE 1762 

but could obtain no answer. Frederick protested he was 
too much occupied with his military operations to consider 
the matter, and must refer it to his Minister in Berlin.-^ 

This he did, with instructions to return Mitchell a 
polite and straightforward answer, insisting on his desire 
for an honourable peace, but pointing out that in the 
proposal to permit the French to occupy Wesel and 
Gueldres till a general peace, while evacuating the rest of 
Germany, he had reason to detect an intention to sacrifice 
his interests in breach of the most solemn engagements 
between him and Great Britain. Had he known that the 
British Cabinet had just rejected this proposal, his answer 
might have been different. As it was, he felt he could 
only refuse the British offer of mediation. The matter, 
he bluntly said, was one that could only be treated 
directly between Vienna and Berlin ; at present he was 
waiting for Austria to begin. But even here his sardonic 
spirit would not permit him to stop. He must needs 
instruct his Minister that, in declining British mediation, 
he was to hint, " in the most gentle and delicate manner," 
that Prussia would not trust her interests to the British 
government as at present constituted. " Finally," he 
wrote, " you will easily grasp that your answer must be 
decent and agreeable to the present situation, but illusory, 
so as to gain time for me to see more clearly into my 
affairs and the success they may have." " It is useless 
worry," he concluded ; " it will all lead to nothing but 
haggling, of which I am surfeited." 2 

Considering what Frederick's knowledge was at the 
time his unhappy reply had much to excuse it, but the 
step with which he followed it up was unpardonable and 

* Mitchell to Grenville, Aug. 6, Mitchell Memoirs, vol. ii. p. ;522. 
^ Frederick to Finckenstein, Aug. 2, Politische Corr., vol. xxii. p 103 ; 
same to Knyphausen, Aug. 5, ibid., p. 114. 


disastrous. His constitutional fondness for underhand 
means was too much for him. A day or two later, before 
Grenville's second despatch could arrive with the formal 
decision of the Cabinet, he received from Knyphausen a 
report, dated July 23rd, of what Avas going on in London, 
and immediately instructed him " to lose no opportunity 
that might occur in secretly inciting and embittering the 
nation asfainst Bute and his administration, and to cast 
upon him the odium of any regrettable incidents that 
might occur, as arising from mismanagement." " Finally," 
he concluded, " you will even incite, so far as possible, 
the authors of the current pamphlets to decry the con- 
duct of this minister, so as to come constantly nearer to 
hurling him from his place." ^ This letter, as usual, was 
intercepted and read, and naturally with the worst con- 
sequences. Following upon Frederick's dilatory answer 
and his abrupt rejection of British mediation, it could 
only deepen Bute's exasperation and disgust Grenville. 
It had already been found necessary to administer to 
Knyphausen and his colleague a sharp rebuke for their 
previous efforts in the same direction, which amounted 
practically to breaking off relations with them. On 
August 5 th, Grenville, by the King's orders, had formally 
declared to them " that until such time as the King of 
Prussia had Ministers who abstained from meddling in 
matters that concerned the interior of the kingdom, his 
Majesty judged it proper to make no communications to 
the King of Prussia except through his own Ministers at 
the Prussian Court." ^ 

To aggravate the situation Bute was growing more 
and more alarmed at the increasing feeling in the country 

' Frederick to Kuyphausen, Aug. 7, PoUlische Corr., vol. xxii. p. 117, 
and Grenville Papers, vol. i. p. 467, note. The two copies have verbal 
differences which have no importance. ^ /hid. 


3 54 BUTE'S PEACE 1762 

against him, and at the growing strength and coherence 
of the opposition. The pamphleteers, with Wilkes at 
their head, were pouring upon him and his policy a flood 
of scurrility such as not even the Treaty of Utrecht had 
called forth. The most biting suggestions with which 
Frederick continued to ply his legation in London were 
harped upon with ever-growing venom, and how much 
Knyphausen had to do with it could not be told. In 
London Bute could scarcely appear in public. In the 
country his name became a byword. At the Guildford 
Assize dinner, for instance, the solicitor to the Treasury 
had proposed his health. The sheriff and over a hundred 
of the county gentry were present, but every man got up 
and refused to drink it. Such an insult to a Prime 
Minister was unheard of.^ It was at this time, moreover, 
that the popular excitement against the peace was further 
inflamed by the arrival of the Herviione treasure. Laden 
in twenty wagons and decorated with British colours flying 
gaily over those of Spain, it reached London on August 
12 th while Havana was in the act of surrendering, and 
was escorted by dragoons and martial music in a stirring 
procession down Piccadilly, past St. James's Palace, and 
so through the city to the Tower, " amidst the acclama- 
tions of a prodigious concourse of people." ^ Then within 
a week came news, obtained by a West Indian merchant- 
man from one of Pocock's cruisers, that a landing had 
been effected at Havana, and that by July 1st the siege 
of the Morro was well advanced.^ Every day, therefore, 
tidings were looked for that the Gate of the Indies had 
fallen, and the exultation was increased by contmued 
news of military successes on the Continent. 

* Newcastle to Hardwicke, Aug. 11, Newcastle Papers, 32,941. 

* Beatson, vol. ii. p. 588. 

3 Halifax to Newcastle, Aug. 18, Newcastle Papers, 32,941. 


Thus passed the month of August while Bedford made 
ready for his mission, and in this atmosphere he received 
his last instructions from Bute. Nothing but details 
remained except on two points, Havana and the Prussian 
Rhineland. Bute told him that if news came of the 
capture of Havana, Egremont and Grenville insisted 
on further compensation being demanded from Spain, 
and he, with apparent reluctance, instructed him accor- 
dingly. As to Wesel and Gueldres, our understanding 
was they were to be evacuated to the first comer, 
the French giving notice to Austria and we to Prussia 
— an arrangement which for military reasons must 
certainly result, if loyally carried out, in Frederick's 
seizing them both.^ 

This did not content Grenville. His suspicion was 
kept alive by a despatch from Paris in which was 
dropped all mention of reciprocal evacuation, and the 
final understanding was stated to be that " the two crowns 
have taken as the basis of their conciliation to propose 
nothing which is contrary to their honour and their 
engagements, and to establish a perfect reciprocity in 
their conduct to their allies." Now Grenville, in view 
of Bedford's departure, had drafted a circular to all the 
German powers concerned, including Prussia, based on 
the British idea of complete evacuation on both sides, and 
the King had approved it. He begged, therefore, that 
its terms should be clearly explained to Bedford before 
he started. " Your lordship," he wrote to Bute, " will see 
that the whole depends on the repeated declarations made 
to the King of Prussia of his Majesty's resolution not to 
depart from the measure of withdrawing the troops on 
both sides as soon as the preliminaries shall be signed ; 
ftnd consequently if this letter be sent, no other expedient 

* Bedford Corr., vol. iii. p. 96. 

3 56 BUTE'S PEACE 1762 

can be taken." ^ Distasteful as the despatch must have 
been to Bute he dared not stop it, and it went forward. 
After expressing to Mitchell the resentment felt by the 
British Court at Frederick's blunt refusal of their media- 
tion, Grenville proceeded to say they meant, nevertheless, 
to stand by him in the matter of the Rhineland. They 
had informed France finally that " she must withdraw 
from all Prussian territories as well as from every other 
country and place in the Empire whereof she had got 
possession in the course of the war." Mitchell was further 
instructed to point out that the King was surprised at 
the silence Frederick had kept in face of our repeated 
requests for his views, and at his not having sent a word 
in acknowledgment of our loyalty to his cause, or of the 
fact that we had not stipulated anything in regard to his 
interests without his knowledge.^ 

Unfortunately the despatch had to conclude with an 
official intimation that Bedford was to be our plenipo- 
tentiary. In Frederick's eyes, in spite of all Grenville 
could honestly say, it could only be regarded as a triumph 
for Bute's policy, and as such it was angrily recognised 
throughout the country. The City especially, so New- 
castle told Devonshire, was in the highest rage with 
Bedford, and with Fox as Bute's adviser.^ Every English- 
man who was not in the Court Camarilla regarded his 
mission as meaning a betrayal of our heroic ally, and 
the feeling against Bute rose higher and higher. But in 
truth the struggle was far from over. The King himself 
sent for Newcastle to try to assuage the anger of the 
Opposition. He told him Choiseul had declared, " No 

' GrenviRe Papers, Sept. 1, vol. i. p. 465 ; Comte de Choiseul to Egre- 
mont, Aug. 26, Lansdoume House MSS. , vol. iii. 
2 Grenville to Mitchell, Aug. 31, Mitchell Papers, Add. MSS. 6828. 
* Newcastle Papers, 32,942, Sept. 4. 


St. Lucia, no peace." Newcastle only replied, that when 
he was in the Cabinet they had agreed to insist on all the 
neutral islands in exchange for Martinique. Passinsr to 
Germany, the Kingr said he could do nothing but leave 
Frederick to himself, since he flatly refused his mediation 
and would open nothing. Newcastle was unconvinced, 
and told the Kin? he ought at least to ask something 
more for our successes this year. The King merely 
thanked him for explaining the views of the Opposition, 
and dismissed him with nothing done.^ 

Bute now stood almost alone. Even Egremont was 
growing hostile. The Due de Xivemais had come over 
as the French plenipotentiary, and was making various 
suggestions on his own account, aU of which had been 
rejected already. He was particularly pressing about 
putting neutral garrisons into the Rhenish towns, and 
Egremont stubbornly refused to listen. It was a fort- 
night since Bedford had reached Paris, and not a word 
had come from him. Egremont grew anxious. '• Pray 
come to town soon," he wrote to Grenville ; " you may 
be wanted-" And indeed he was. Two days later a long 
and complacent despatch came fi-om Bedford. Egremont 
sent it on inmiediately to meet his colleague <5n his way 
to London. " You will see," he wrote, '' that headstrong 
silly wretch has already given up two or three points in 
his conversation with Choiseul, and that his design was 
to have been signed without any communication here. 
I have seen Lord Bute this morning and had much talk 
with him. Some I did not like, but I have not given 
way in anything : nor shall in the attack I expect from 
the Superior." ' 

* Intemew with King, Sept. 11, Xeweattlt Papert, 32,942. 

* Egremont to Grenville, Sept. 24 and 26, GrenviUe Papen. voL i. 
p. 474. 

3 58 BUTE'S PEACE 1762 

The points that Bedford had let go were really of little 
importance. They related merely to the inspection of the 
fishery stations, Dunkirk, and the status of the factories 
to be restored to France in India. Still they gave 
ground for suspecting the Duke's constancy ; but quite 
groundlessly, as his next despatch proved. It followed 
close on the heels of the other, and its contents raised 
still greater alarm. At his second interview with Choiseul, 
Bedford, to his dismay, found that no arrangement what- 
ever had been made with Spain. Choiseul had not even 
dared to tell Grimaldi that he had agreed to let us into 
the Gulf of Mexico, or that we should require fresh con- 
cessions if Havana were taken. He had not so much as 
settled for the evacuation of Portugal, and he implored 
Bedford not to say a word to Grimaldi. Bedford, how- 
ever, insisted on seeing him at once. The Spanish 
ambassador talked like a madman. " Either he or his 
Court," wrote Bedford, " have lost their senses." In vain 
the two Choiseuls, Solar, and the Pompadour herself tried 
to smooth the anger of the indignant Englishman, and 
get him to give way. He would not budge an inch, and 
insisted on referring the whole matter home. 

The immediate effect was to inspire every one but Bute 
with a conviction that France was false. "I do not 
suppose," wrote Egremont to Grenville, " that ever there 
existed such a specimen of falsehood, inconsistency, in- 
solence, &c., &c., as these papers exhibit : and I do not 
see almost how the negotiation can proceed. The Duke 
of Bedford is in consternation about it himself. . . . The 
King comes to town to dinner. Lord Bute is at Kew. 
For God's sake come up to town." ^ 

With both King and Cabinet a panic ensued at the 
risk they had run in entrusting Bedford with plenary 

^ Egrumont to Grenville, Oct. — , Grenville Papers, vol. i. p. 470. 


powers. There was a feeling they must be curtailed, so 
that he should not have authority to sign anything till it 
had been referred home. Grenville went so far as to 
press that the preliminaries should be submitted to Par- 
liament before anything was done. Bute was obstinate. 
To revoke Bedford's powers was to annul the symbol of 
his success. A desperate struggle for the mastery ensued, 
which brought both the peace and the Cabinet to the brink 
of wreck. Grenville threatened to resign. Bute begged the 
King for leave to abandon a position for which at last he 
felt himself wholly inadequate ; but at the bare suggestion 
of his desertion his distracted master would sit " for hours 
together leaning his head upon his arm without speaking." 
Bute felt he must stay. But he quite lost his head. 
His advisers in the City, whose language he pathetically 
confessed he could not understand when they came to 
talk finance, were declaring it would be impossible to 
raise money so long as he was in power. The war could 
not go on, and Bute in despair proposed to accept the 
last French terms, and demand no equivalent if Havana 
were taken. Grenville utterly refused to listen. He 
would not give way : Bute could not let him go : and not 
a ray of hope was to be seen in the darkness. 

To increase the blackness of the outlook, Frederick was 
continuing his amiable instructions to his Ministers in 
London. He told them that if Bute dared to do anything 
against the sentiment of the nation he would assuredly 
risk his head, and that they were to do their best to add 
to the risk — not only by tampering with the press, but 
by getting some of the great cities to petition against the 
shame which the Ministers were bringing on the Crown 
and country. They were to leave no stone unturned to 
fling Bute down, and, in particular, were to inspire the 
Opposition press with remarks upon the misery royal 

36o BUTE'S PEACE 1762 

favourites had always brought 011 England ; a hint which 
the pamphleteers developed Avith shameless and ingenious 
fertility.-^ Bute felt the danger only too keenly. Viri 
told Solar plainly that Choiseul must remember Bute 
could not keep Harley's fate out of his head. He could 
not make war : he dared not make peace. What would 
have happened it is impossible to tell, but the very after- 
noon that the deadlock pronounced itself Captain Hervey 
sprang boisterously upon the scene with the glorious 
news that Havana had fallen.^ 

He came like a flash of light into the gloom, and with 
a lusty breeze from the west that cleared the situation 
like magic and fanned the whole country once more into 
flames of triumph. The bells and the bonfires left no 
two words to be said. Within an hour of the news being 
told Grenville and Egremont both declared that they 
would sign no such peace as Bute desired. At their 
backs was rising a cry, loudest in the City, that no peace 
should be made till Spain denounced the Family Compact. 
There was nothing for it but to bend before the storm. 
Bute dared not face Parliament, on which Frederick based 
his hope. It was to meet next week, but was hastily pro- 
rogued. He dared not even face a Cabinet. Without 
any meeting being called Bedford's plenary powers were 
revoked, and he was told to expect a new " Project of 
Peace " as England's last word. 

But Bute, with courage worthy of better ends, was 
only bending. Already he was at work to get rid of 
Grenville's opposition. With such a man at the Foreign 
Office and leading the House of Commons, he could not 
go on. Grenville, moreover, was pressing for Newcastle 

^ Frederick to Kynphausen, Sept. 10, Politische Corr., vol. xxii. p. 207. 
* Newcastle Papers, 32,94.3, Oct. 3. Note of his interview with Cumber- 
land. Hervey arrived on Sept. 29. 


and his friends to be called back to council, and Halifax, 
who had supported Bute throughout, was in favour of 
the coalition. The King sanctioned an overture, but 
Halifax's well-meant efforts were met with a blunt refusal 
from Newcastle and his friends. Bute was now free to go 
his way. He had n:iadc up his mind to fall back on Fox, 
whose unpopularity was second only to his own ; still he 
was the only man who could hope to face Pitt. Indolent 
and satiated as he was with the wealth he had acquired 
as Paymaster during the war, he was persuaded to accept 
the leadership ■, of the House of Commons, without office 
but with almost despotic powers.^ Grenville was forced 
to go to the Admiralty, and Halifax took his place as 
Foreign Secretary for the North. Nor did Bute stop 
there. It had been decided in principle that the " New 
Project " should adhere to the English plan of a general 
evacuation of Germany and Portugal, that Florida or 
Puerto Rico should be demanded for Havana, and that 
no variation of the material articles would be permitted. 
The moment it was settled Bute secretly informed Viri of 
what was coming, in order that he might prepare the 
Court of France, and told him that on no account must 
Bedford or Spain be informed. 

He might well have saved himself the last piece of 
treachery to the constitution. The Court of France 
needed no preparation. Havana had done its work ; 
Choiseul himself had taken alarm; Paris was as clamorous 
for peace as London was violent for higher terms, and 
the long-headed French Minister knew the time had 
come to close. Havana, ho said, "had stopped Grimaldi's 
cackle " ; Frederick had taken Sweidnitz, the main objec- 
tive of his campaign ; Ferdinand was expected any day 

^ For the best and most authentic account of Fox's interveution see 
Lord Fitzmaurice's Ufe of Shdburne, vol. i. p. 153 ct s^q. 

362 BUTE'S PEACE 1762 

to capture Cassel ; and Choiseul resolved at all costs to 
force the English terms down Spain's throat. On October 
22nd and 25th the reconstructed Cabinet met to pass 
the draft of the " New Project." Grenville was still for 
demanding St. Lucia, but it was not brought up, and the 
Project as it stood was passed unanimously,^ It reached 
Paris by the end of the month. Hard as the terms were, 
Choiseul, with characteristic decision, did not flinch. He 
saw, as was only fair, that France must pay the price for 
Havana, and as the payment could be made to clear his 
country of the " American system " altogether, he could 
do it with a light heart. All, therefore, of Louisiana that 
was not already promised to England was offered to Spain 
if she would give up Florida. Spain accepted, and on 
November 3rd the long-fought Preliminaries were signed 
at Fontainebleau. 

On only one material point had Bedford given way, 
and this unfortunately was in the article relating to the 
Prussian Rhineland. By the English Project France was 
to evactuate Cleves, Wesel, and Gueldres immediately 
after the ratification of the Preliminaries, and neither side 
was to furnish succour of any kind to their respective 
allies. In this form the article was communicated to 
Frederick ; ^ but when, a few days later, he received the 
whole text of the Preliminaries it was found the article 
had been altered. Not only was France merely to 
evacuate his territory " as soon as it can be done," but 
there was attached a declaration that she was to be per- 
mitted to pay all arrears of her subsidy to Austria. It was 
the last false stroke of Bute and Bedford, and Frederick 

* Grenville to Egremont, aud Egremont to Grenville, Grenville Papers, 
vol. i. p. 492, Oct. 24 ; Jones to Newcastle, Oct. 23, 24, and 26, Newcastle 
Papers, 32,943-4. 

* Halifax to Mitchell, Nov. 9, Mitchell Papers, vol. xvii., Add. MSS. 


was naturally more convinced than ever he was betrayed. 
He saw in the variation a clear intention of letting Austria 
into the disputed towns. He had suspected so much 
already, and was deep in a scheme for persuading either 
the Dutch or Ferdinand to seize them on his behalf as 
soon as the French left. He now redoubled his efforts, 
made preparations to lay hold of other Westphalian 
territory by way of security, and sent a firm and indig- 
nant protest to London, which Knyphausen was ordered 
to have printed and scatter broadcast. 

There was still hope that the obnoxious article might 
be given a proper turn. Grenville's insistence and Bute's 
memories of Harley and Walpole had so far prevailed 
that the Preliminaries were to be submitted to Parlia- 
ment before a definitive treaty was proceeded with. As 
the terms leaked out the anger of the nation blazed 
hotter and hotter. The King, by an insult to Devon- 
shire, had alienated all the best of the nobility, and they 
were resigning their offices every day ; and worst of all, 
Pitt and the Newcastle group were meeting in the Duke 
of Cumberland's house. But all was of no avail against 
the able and not too nice generalship of Fox. Having 
put his hand to the plough he let no indecency of reward 
or punishment turn him aside. Never had bribery been 
so open and drastic, or proscription so heartless and 
searching. By the time Parliament met both Houses 
had been purged and poisoned to the core. It was on 
December 9th the great debate took place. In the Lords 
Hardwicke rent the peace to tatters with unanswerable 
logic. To the Commons Pitt, swathed in flannel, was 
carried from a bed of sickness, and, suffering agonies 
from the gout, unable to stand, at times hardly able to 
speak, he denounced it for three hours and a half. Out- 
side a turbulent crowd roared in concert, but not even 

364 BUTE'S PEACE 1762 

their shouts could replace the fire his pain had quenched. 
At his best, perhaps, he could not have availed to undo 
Fox's insidious work. As he ended and was carried from 
the House it was clear the game was lost. Newcastle 
passed the word for his men not to vote. In the Lords 
the peace was agreed to without a division. In the 
Commons it was carried by an overwhelming majority. 

The Government had triumphed, but the temper that 
had been displayed in the attack and which continued to 
rise in the country could not be ignored. The desertion 
of the Protestant hero had been the point that had 
pricked the deepest, and it might yet kill. Thus it was 
that righteous and justifiable as was Frederick's anger, he 
quickly found it was uncalled for. Halifax, at least, was 
a man of too high character to purchase peace, much as 
he loved it, at the price of national honour. He had 
already set on foot a scheme by which Frederick should 
receive all he wanted. It took the form of a joint effort 
by France and England to induce all the princes of the 
Empire to declare their neutrality and withdraw their 
contingents from Austria. To complete the pacification 
he also proposed a convention by which all Frederick's 
territory in Westphalia and on the Rhine should be 
restored to him, and that as a counterpoise France and 
England should jointly guarantee the neutrality of 
Holland and the Austrian Netherlands. This statesman- 
like scheme was so well received that by the time 
Frederick's impassioned protest arrived Halifax was able 
to assure Knyphausen there was nothing to fear. So 
soon as the plan was conveyed to Frederick he accepted 
it with alacrity. " As I find this measure," he wrote to 
Knyphausen, " to be in complete conformity with my 
interests, my intention is that you declare . . . that 
I am willing to put my hand to it and conclude the 


proposed convention under the guarantee of the two 
Courts." ' 

So in the end he was not betrayed, and England, at the 
cost of the great sacrifice of her interests that had been 
forced on her in the East and West Indies and on the 
African coast, had fulfilled to the letter every engagement 
to her ally. On February 10th the definitive treaty was 
signed at Paris by Bedford, the Cornte de Choiseul, and 
Grimaldi, and the great imperial war was at an end. 

But by this time it had reached to the farthest ends 
of the earth, and there it still continued to rumble like 
passing thunder. In the West Indies Keppel swept up 
prize after prize, and in the far East, Admiral Cornish 
and General Draper were doing no less. On October 6th 
they had taken Manilla, and the eastern fountain of 
Spanish wealth was as completely in our hands as the 
western. But, though the capitulation had been made 
before the Preliminaries were signed, the news did not 
reach Europe till after their ratification ; and as no 
mention of the conquest was made in the treaty, all had 
to be restored without equivalent. Even the ransom bills 
which had been extorted, the Spaniards refused to pay. 
It required but this to complete the popular exasperation. 
The rage against Bute knew no bounds, and two months 
were not passed before he fell, crushed under the weight 
of his own peace. 

^ Politische Corr., vol. xxii, p. 483, Jan. 2G, 1763. 



A CONTEST SO prolonged and waged with so much ability 
as the Seven Years' War could not but leave its mark 
upon the naval art. It may indeed be said to have 
effected the transition from the ideas of the seventeenth 
century to those of the eighteenth. No definite formula- 
tion of the revolution in thought is known to exist, but 
in the change that came over the organisation of the 
fleet it is very clearly expressed. It is impossible to 
examine these changes without feeling ourselves in con- 
tact with a new and more scientific conception of naval 
warfare. We can see growing up a clearer analysis of 
the various services required ; a germ of their classifica- 
tion into battle, scouting, and inshore work ; and side by 
side an attempt to organise the fleet upon a correspond- 
ing threefold basis of battleships, cruisers, and flotilla. 
The process accompanied the effort to improve our naval 
architecture in accordance with the French models cap- 
tured by Anson and Hawke in 1747. That process is 
well known.^ The subtler strategical development is of 
even higher interest, and deserves wider recognition than 
it has hitherto received. 

Up till the end of the war of the Austrian Succession 
the classification of our ships had become purely arbi- 
trary, corresponding to no philosophical conception of 
the duties of a fleet. In the first rate were 100-gun 

1 Charnock, History of Marine Architecture, 1801-3, vol. iii. pp. 158 et seq. 



ships; in the second 90 -gun ships — all three-deckers. 
So far there is nothing to criticise. It is in the third 
rate the lack of system becomes apparent. It was headed 
by 80-gun ships of three decks, and the bulk of the rest 
were 70-gun ships of two decks. In the fourth rate 
was a weak class of 60 -gun and 50 -gun ships also of two 
decks. This class was the largest of all, numbering no 
less than seventy. Their multiplication, so Charnock 
believed, was due to the increasing area our trade was 
covering, and we can only assume it was due to a desire 
to combine battle and commerce-protection properties in 
one type — that is, they were hybrids between a weak 
battleship and a powerful cruiser without any clear 
recognition of an intermediate type. In any case, in 
spite of their known battle weakness, they were regarded 
primarily as battleships, and until nearly the end of the 
Seven Years' War were all classed as ships of the line. 
Below these came the fifth rates, Avhich were cruisers, 
but in no way did they differ from ships of the line 
except in size. They were all cramped two-deckers of 
44 and 40 guns, and had no distinctive class-name. No 
doubt they were to some extent an expression of the 
fundamental need of an intermediate type for cruiser 
support, but being merely small battleships they had 
no special adaptation for acting with cruisers. The true 
cruiser was represented by the sixth rates, which com- 
prised small and weakly armed 20-gun ships, and be- 
tween them and the " forties " there was nothing. Below 
these, but again without any clear differentiation, came 
the unrated sloops. 

Thus it will be seen that not only was there no logical 
distinction between the large and the small type of battle- 
ship, but there was none between the battleship and the 
cruiser or between the cruisers and the flotilla. It is 


impossible to detect any strategical or tactical theory of 
class functions to which the classification will correspond. 
The only conceivable explanation is that the system was 
a decrepit survival of the earliest days of warfare under 
sail. In the whole gamut of rates there is nowhere a 
distinct gap except between the two -decked " forties " 
and the 20 -gun cruisers. A special characteristic of 
these vessels and the sloops was that they could be 
moved by oars, and we are therefore driven to the con- 
clusion that the rating of the middle of the eighteenth 
century was purely arbitrary, with no scientific founda- 
tion beneath it except the obsolete classification of the 
fleet into true sailing ships and vessels with auxiliary oar 
propulsion. It was the classification on which Henry 
the Eighth had originally founded the sailing navy, and 
which was at the bottom of the Elizabethan distinction 
between ships and pinnaces. In other words, it is the 
last trace of the hybrid ship and galley navies of the 
Middle Ages. 

If we turn now to the Navy List as it existed at the 
end of the Seven Years' War, after Anson's long spell of 
office, we find all this is changed. Whether or not it 
was done as the conscious expression of a scientific con- 
ception of naval warfare is unknown, but it is none the 
less interesting if it was due to the silent pressure of 
strategical law acting through hard experience vipon a 
creative mind, and forcing the fleet into the shape it 

To begin with we find, eliminating foreign prizes in- 
troduced into the service, that the three-deckers or fleet 
flagship type are confined to the two highest rates, and 
three-deckers of less than 90 guns have ceased to be 
built. Similarly there is a tendency to confine the two- 
deckers — the rank and file of the line of battle — to the 


third and fourth rates, and at the same time their size 
was increased to make them really fit for their special 
function. A new class of 1500-ton 74's was begun in 
place of the older 70's, and a class of 1200-ton 64's in 
place of the older 60's. In both cases there was an 
advance of about 300 tons, and it was regarded, even at 
the end of the century, as a " grand stretch of mechanics." 
Still the fermenting aspirations of the new school were 
unsatisfied, and in 1758 were laid down two 74's of 
a still larger design, which had been in contemplation 
ever since Anson and Hawke had captured their models 
in 1747. They marked another "grand stretch" of 
300 tons, or of no less than one-third over the old 
class of 70's. But somewhere, possibly due to Anson's 
death, the courage of conviction was wanting, and for 
many years to come these two vessels were regarded as 
experimental, and not repeated. In all ten 74's were 
added during the war, besides three French prizes and 
the seven large Spanish 70's taken at Havana. 

Coming to the fourth rate we see it still comprising 
ships of from 60 to 50 guns, but with a highly signifi- 
cant diflference. A hard line is drawn between the 60's 
and the 50's, and the 60's only are classed as ships of 
the line. Charnock tells us that even so their retention 
as battleships was nominal, and that they were no longer 
regarded as really fit to lie in the line against the power- 
ful rank and file of France and Spain. The interesting 
point, however, is not so much the status of the 60's as 
that of the 50's. For in the fact that though increased 
in power and still included in the fourth rate they were 
no longer classed as battleships, we seem to get the first 
clear recognition of the need of an intermediate type — a 
type, that is, whose function is to act as a supporting 
ship to stiffen the cruiser line — and for this purpose 

VOL. II. 2 A 


they were almost invariably used in the later years of 
the war. As flagships of cruiser squadrons, for convoy 
work and for commerce protection generally, they found 
their chief employment, and the tendency was for the 
old 60's that remained to sink to the same category, 
while no less than twelve 60's and eight 50's Avere 
broken up during the war. 

In the cruiser class we find the advance in thought 
no less strongly marked. During the war, besides units 
that were lost, ten 40's were broken up and eighteen 
20's sold. The 40's ceased to be built, and their 
numbers had fallen from thirty-eight to twenty-one. 
In their place are no less than thirty-two 32-gun frigates, 
the first of the new type of cruiser which was to prove 
so effective, and to clothe itself with so much renown. 
Added to these were four of 36-guns, of which one was 
a French prize. In the same way there appears in the 
sixth class twenty-two new 2 8 -gun frigates. A few 
more of the old 20-gun type had been completed, 
which kept the numbers up to forty-four, but at the 
same time a comparatively new experimental class of 
18-gun frigates had been disrated and relegated to the 

If, then, we summarise broadly, eliminating instances 
of confusion caused by the incorporation of prize ships, 
the tendency becomes clear. It is towards simplification 
and specialisation of the three main types. The battle- 
ships remain as at the beginning of the war, one hundred 
and forty in number, with a proportion of one-seventh 
three-deckers for flagships, while the two-deckers, largely 

1 The frigates actually added during the war were four 36's (one French), 
two 30's (one bought and one French), twenty 32's (two French), sixteen 
28's (two French), one 2G and one 24, both French. — Chamock, vol. iii. 
p. 198. 


increased in force, are condensing to two types only, 
74's and 64's. Between them is a wide gap to the 
32 and 28-gun cruisers, filled, however, by the inter- 
mediate 50's, which are no longer classed as battleships. 
Then the 40-gun class is dying out, leaving a distinct 
cruiser class of true single-decked frigates, while an 
equally well-marked gap is forming between the frigates 
and the sloops, that is, between cruisers and flotilla. 

Such was the revolution which was carried out practi- 
cally in ten years. When we consider that in those 
days 74's took, as a rule, nearly four years to complete, 
and that the Royal George (100), the first ship laid down 
on the improved French lines, took nearly ten, " revolu- 
tion " seems not too strong a term. It is noteworthy, 
moreover, that unlike the similar sweeping reform which 
was inaugurated by Sir Thomas Hardy in 1830, it was 
carried out in high time of war, and as a result of the 
actual experience of a previous war. Anson, a true 
fighting admiral as well as a great administrator, is the 
personality to whom we must credit the great advance; 
but in honouring him we must not forget the name of 
Sir Thomas Slade, who, as Surveyor of the Navy from 
1755 to 1771, was directly responsible for the creation 
of this true modern fleet. 

In tactics no such advance was made. In the army 
the improvement was great, but the nature of the struggle 
at sea robbed the admirals of that day of the necessary 
stimulus of general actions. That it was not a period 
of actual stagnation in thought is proved by the official 
introduction of the new Additional Instructions which 
have been noticed in their place. It was practice 
and the need of tactics that were wantinof. How little 
practical attention was given to the subject, we have seen 
in Anson's complaint of the ignorance and slackness 


of battle tactics which he found on taking over from 
Hawke and Boscawen the main fleet in 1758. Indeed, 
it is not too much to say, that although, from the 
conditions of the war, there was little tactical fruition, 
Anson was the true begetter of a better state of things. 
Men who knew him well acclaimed his appointment as 
First Lord as heralding a new era. " How seldom," 
wrote one of them, " have we had one man at the 
Admiralty Avho . . . made the improvement of discipline 
(i.e. tactics) any part of his care ! . . . I expect a great 
deal from you, and if I am deceived will never again 
hope to see . . . any real improvements made, but con- 
clude we are to go on in the old stupid tracks of our 
predecessors, leave all to chance, and blunder on ad 
infinituvi without any regular system of discipline. . . . 
I hope you will give another turn to affairs, and form 
a society for the propagation of sea-military knowledge. 
I think you had formerly such a scheme." ^ 

This scheme he never realised, but the fact that it 
had been in his mind suggests that the great reforms he 
made were the outcome of a reasoned apprehension of 
the principles of his art and not the mere intuitions of 
hand to mouth experience. But of all this scarcely a 
glimpse remains. " The silent son-in-law of the Chan- 
cellor," as Horace Walpole called him, seldom spoke and 
never wrote a word more than he could help. His friends 
cherished his few letters as the rarest of possessions, 
and affectionately reviled him as the worst of corre- 
spondents. For him, as for his disciple Saunders, silence 
was golden. Yet how great a loss it cost the service can 
never be known, for it meant the minds of both were 
buried with them. 

The reason why Anson and his admirals were denied 

^ Barrow, Life of Anson, p. 405, 


the chance of putting his tactical ideas to the test brings 
us to another permanent lesson of the war. No great 
action took place, because the weakness of the French at 
sea and the exigencies of their war plan forced them to 
adopt a naval defensive. It was their wise policy to 
avoid a decision at sea, and to keep the command in 
dispute as long as possible, while they concentrated their 
offensive powers upon the array ashore. It was exactly 
the reverse of Pitt's system, and how nearly it came to 
defeating it is one of the great facts of the war. 

The essence of the defensive is waiting for an oppor- 
tunity to pass to the offensive, and we cannot look back 
upon the struggle which the French attitude so skilfully 
prolonged without a shudder to see how nearly they 
were rewarded. Had Ferdinand, the Anglophile king 
of Spain, died a year or two sooner than he did, Spain 
would certainly have joined our enemy before we had 
attained our object in America. As it was, the French, 
by preserving their fleet from a decision, prevented us for 
five long years from completing that easy conquest which 
we looked to settle in one campaign. With the Spanish 
fleet to help them dispute the control of the American 
communications, there is no saying how much longer 
the labour would have lasted. Again, if the Czarina 
Elizabeth had survived one more campaign it is impos- 
sible to see how Frederick could have maintained his 
position. On all the chances of war we must have been 
crushed ; Hanover, and Holland, and the Netherlands 
would have been at the mercy of France, and the treaty 
of peace could scarcely have been on a better basis for us 
than the status quo ante helium. 

There is no clearer lesson in history how unwise and 
short-sighted it is to despise and ridicule a naval defen- 
sive. Of all stratc'dcal attitudes it is the most difficult 


to meet and the most deeply fraught with danger for the 
opposing belligerent if he is weak ashore and his enemy 
strong. The prolongation of war at sea tends to raise up 
fresh enemies for the dominant power in a much higher 
degree than it does on land, owing to the inevitable 
exasperation of neutrals. In the long run and by itself 
the defensive cannot, of course, lead to a final attain- 
ment of the command of the sea. But it can prevent 
its attainment by the other side, and this, taken in 
concert with a powerful offensive ashore, may well secure 
a final triumph. The real lesson of the war is not that 
we should treat a naval defensive with contempt, just 
because in this case it failed by the chance prolongation 
of two human lives ; but that we should note the supreme 
necessity and difficulty of crushing it down before it has 
time to operate its normal effect. The primary and 
all-absorbing object of a superior naval power is not 
merely to take the offensive, but to force the enemy to 
expose himself to a decision as quickly as possible. One 
of the rare glimpses we have had into Anson's mind 
showed us how deeply he was impressed with this pre- 
occupation. In his heart he never approved of Pitt's 
coastal operations. Great as he was as a master of naval 
warfare, there is no sign he ever rose to Pitt's larger 
conception of combined strategy. It was only because 
Hardwicke's broad mind grasped and approved the policy, 
that his silent son-in-law held his tongue and loyally 
gave an outward assent. We have seen that the sole 
use he could find in coastal expeditions was a means 
of forcing a decision at sea, and so far and no further 
he believed them justified. Much has been said of the 
first function of the British army being to assist the fleet 
in obtaining command of the sea. We may take it 
that in Lord Anson's opinion there was no better way 


in which this function could be performed than by 
operating over the uncommanded sea, and tempting the 
enemy's battleships into the open. 

There remains to consider the lessons of commerce 
destruction. Though actual statistics are hard to come 
by, there seems no doubt that the French claim to have 
captured a greater number of vessels than we did is 
justified. The value of the captures is less certain. 
Very little harm was done to our convoys, less still by 
the enemy's cruisers. The bulk of the havoc was 
amongst small vessels and coasting craft by the enemy's 
privateers, and the results afford a poor precedent as to 
what is likely to happen now that privateering is sup- 
posed to be abolished. This, however, is not the important 
point. The fact of permanent value is that successful 
as were the French operations, they did very little to 
injure our credit, and that is the main strategic value 
of commerce destruction. Money was freely obtainable, 
at least until the end of Pitt's administration, and then 
any tightness there was was entirely due to mistrust of 
Bute's capacity. On the other hand, the credit of France 
was effectively destroyed, and her finances reduced to the 
direst straits. 

The truth seems to be that the bulk of our com- 
merce was so great that the mere pelagic operations of 
our enemy, though they absorbed in the end almost the 
whole of her vitality at sea, could not make a sufficient 
percentage impression to produce any real warlike 
advantage. Such an advantage, it would appear, is 
only to be obtained by a practical stoppage of trade 
communications and the capture of the oversea depots. 
When the volume of commerce is so vast and its theatre 
so widespread as ours was even in those days, pelagic 
operations against it can never amount to more than 


nibbling. They may produce inconvenience, but cannot 
paralyse finance. To injure credit to sucb an extent as 
to amount to a real consideration of war, operations 
against trade must be systematically carried on by land 
and sea till its main sources and the possibility of transit 
are practically destroyed. Then, and then only, can it 
become a material factor in securing the ultimate object 
— a favourable peace. That, at least, is the moral of the 
Seven Years' War. 

With regard to the merits of the peace itself, though 
it was the most triumphant we ever made, it can only be 
said that, as Boscawen began the war, so Bute ended it. 
What we did was either too little or too much. That 
we were in a position to extract still harder terms than 
we did is certain. Pitt would have done so, and was 
minded by crushing the French navy, body and soul, to 
put it out of her power ever to retaliate. Whether this 
was possible or not there were many wise heads who 
thought it impolitic ; better, they argued, to be easy and 
rest content with a situation which would be endur- 
able to a chivalrous enemy. To this end we sacrificed 
much, and all to no purpose. We had gone already far 
beyond what so great and proud a nation could accept; 
and even while Choiseul was pressing for terms mild 
enough to secure a lasting peace, he was planning the 
revenge which was to fall so heavily and so soon. 




Peace. — Art. 1. There shall be a Christian, universal, and 
perpetual peace, as well by sea as by land, and a sincere and 
constant friendship shall be re - established between their 
Britannic, most Christian, Catholic, and most Faithful ma- 
jesties, and between their heirs and sucessors, kingdoms, 
dominions, provinces, countries, subjects, and vassals, of what 
quality or condition soever they be, without exception of places, 
or of persons : so that the high contracting parties shall give 
the greatest attention to maintain between themselves and 
their said dominions and subjects, this reciprocal friendship 
and correspondence, without permitting, on either side, any kind 
of hostilities, by sea or by land, to be committed, from hence- 
forth, for any cause, or under any pretence whatsoever, and 
every thing shall be carefully avoided which might, hereafter, 
prejudice the union happily re-established, applying themselves, 
on the contrary, on every occasion, to procure for each other 
whatever may contribute to their mutual glory, interests, and 
advantages, without giving any assistance or protection, directly 
or indirectly, to those who would cause any prejudice to either 
of the high contracting parties : there shall be a general 
oblivion of everything that may have been done or committed 
before, or since, the commencement of the war, which is just 

Treaties Confirmed. — Art. II. The treaties of Westphalia of 
1648 ; those of Madrid between the crowns of Great Britain 
and Spain of 1667 and 1670 ; the treaties of peace of Nimeguen 


of 1678 and 1679 ; of Ryswick of 1697 ; those of peace and 
of commerce of Utrecht of 1713; that of Baden of 1714; the 
treaty of the Triple Alliance of the Hague of 1717 ; that of 
the Quadruple Alliance of London of 1718 ; the treaty of peace 
of Vienna of 1738; the definitive treaty of Aix la Chapelle 
of 1748; and that of Madrid between the crowns of Great 
Britain and Spain of 1750, as well as the treaties between 
the crowns of Spain and Portugal, of the 13th February 1668 ; 
of the 6th February 1715 ; and of the 12th February 1761 ; and 
that of the 11th April 1713 between France and Portugal, 
with the guarantees of Great Britain, serve as a basis and 
foundation to the peace and to the present treaty ; and for this 
purpose, they are all renewed and confirmed in the best form, 
as well as all the treaties in general, which subsisted between 
the high contracting parties before the war, as if they were 
inserted here word for word, so that they are to be exactly 
observed, for the future, in their whole tenor, and religiously 
executed on all sides, in all their points, which shall not be 
derogated from by the present Treaty, notwithstanding all 
that may have been stipulated to the contrary by any of 
the high contracting parties : and all the said parties de- 
clare, that they will not suffer any privilege, favour, or in- 
dulgence, to subsist, contrary to the treaties above confirmed, 
except what shall have been agreed and stipulated by the 
present Treaty. 

Exchange of Prisoners. — Art. III. All the prisoners made, 
on all sides, as well by land as by sea, and the hostages carried 
away, or given during the war, and to this day, shall be restored 
without ransom, six weeks, at latest, to be computed from the 
day of the exchange of the ratification of the present treaty, 
each crown respectively paying the advances which shall have 
been made for the subsistence and maintenance of their prisoners, 
by the sovereign of the country where they shall have been 
detained, according to the attested receipts and estimates, and 
other authentic vouchers, which shall be furnished on one side 
and the other ; and securities shall be reciprocally given for the 
payment of the debts which the prisoners shall have contracted 
in the countries where they have been detained, until their 
entire liberty. And all the ships of war and merchant vessels 
which shall have been taken since the expiration of the terms 
agreed upon for the cessation of hostilities by sea, shall be 


likewise restored bona fide, with all their crews and cargoes ; 
and the execution of this article shall be proceeded upon 
immediately after the exchange of the ratifications of this 

Nova Scotia and Canada. — Art. IV. His most Christian 
majesty renounces all the pretensions which he has heretofore 
formed, or might form, to Nova Scotia, or Acadia, in all its 
parts, and guarantees the whole of it, and with all its de- 
pendencies, to the king of Great Britain : moreover, his most 
Christian majesty cedes and guarantees to his said Britannic 
majesty, in full right, Canada, with all its dependencies, as well 
as the island of Cape Breton, and all the other islands and 
coasts in the gulph and river St. Laurence, and, in general, 
every thing that depends on the said countries, lands, islands, 
and coasts, with the sovereignty, property, possession, and all 
rights acquired by treaty or otherwise, which the most Christian 
king, and the crown of France, have had, till now, over the said 
countries, islands, lands, places, coasts, and their inhabitants, so 
that the most Christian king cedes and makes over the whole to 
the said king, and to the crown of Great Britain, and that in the 
most ample manner and form, without restriction, and without 
any liberty to depart from the said cession and guaranty, under 
any pretence, or to disturb Great Britain in the possessions 
above mentioned. His Britannic majesty, on his side, agrees 
to grant the liberty of the Catholic religion to the inhabitants 
of Canada ; he will, consequently, give the most precise and 
most effectual orders, that his new Roman Catholic subjects 
may profess the worship of their religion, according to the rites 
of the Romish Church, as far as the laws of Great Britain permit. 
His Britannic majesty further agrees, that the French inhabi- 
tants, or others who had been subjects of the most Christian 
king in Canada, may retire, with all safety and freedom, wher- 
ever they shall think proper, and may sell their estates, provided 
it be to subjects of his Britannic majesty, and bring away their 
effects as well as their persons, without being restrained in 
their emigration, under any pretence whatsoever, except that 
of debts, or of criminal prosecutions : the term limited for this 
emigration shall be fixed to the space of eighteen months, to 
be computed from the day of the exchange of the ratifications 
of the present treaty. 

Fisheries. — Art. V. The subjects of France shall have the 


liberty of fishing and drying, on a part of the coasts of the 
island of Newfoundland, such as it is specified in the 13th 
Article of the Treaty of Utrecht ; which article is renewed and 
confirmed by the present treaty (except what relates to the 
island of Cape Breton, as well as to the other islands and 
coasts, in the mouth and in the gulph of St. Laurence) ; and 
his Britannic majesty consents to leave to the subjects of 
the most Christian king the liberty of fishing in the gulph of 
St. Laurence, on condition that the subjects of France do not 
exercise the said fishery, but at the distance of three leagues 
from all the coasts belonging to Great Britain, as well those 
of the continent, as those of the islands situated in the said 
gulph of St. Laurence. And as to what relates to the fishery 
on the coasts of the island of Cape Breton out of the said gulph, 
the subjects of the most Christian king shall not be permitted 
to exercise the said fishery, but at the distance of 15 leagues 
from the coasts of the island of Cape Breton ; and the fishery 
on the coasts of Nova Scotia or Acadia, and everywhere else 
out of the said gulph, shall remain on the foot of former 

Fishing Stations. — Art. VI. The king of Great Britain cedes 
the islands of St. Peter and Miquelon, in full right, to his most 
Christian majesty, to serve as a shelter to the French fisher- 
men : and his said most Christian majesty engages not to fortify 
the said islands ; to erect no buildings upon them, but merely 
for the convenience of the fishery ; and to keep upon them a 
guard of 50 men only for the police. 

The Mississippi Line. — Art. VII. In order to re-establish 
peace on solid and durable foundations, and to remove for ever 
all subject of dispute with regard to the limits of the British 
and French territories on the continent of America ; it is 
agreed, that, for the future, the confines between the dominions 
of his Britannic majesty, and those of his most Christian 
majesty, in that part of the world, shall be fixed irrevocably 
by a line drawn along the middle of the river Mississippi, from 
its source to the river Iberville, and from thence, by a line 
drawn along the middle of this river, and the lakes Maurepas 
and Pontchartrain, to the sea ; and for this purpose, the most 
Christian king cedes in full right, and guarantees to his 
Britannic majesty, the river and port of the Mobile, and every- 
thing which he possesses, or ought to possess, on the left side 


of the river Mississippi, except the town of New Orleans, and 
the island in which it is situated, which shall remain to France ; 
provided that the navigation of the river Mississippi shall be 
equally free, as well to the subjects of Great Britain, as to those 
of France, in its whole breadth and length, from its source to 
the sea, and expressly that part which is between the said 
island of New Orleans, and the right bank of that river, as 
well as the passage both in and out of its mouth : it is further 
stipulated, that the vessels belonging to the subjects of either 
nation, shall not be stopped, visited, or subjected to the pay- 
ment of any duty whatsoever. The stipulations, inserted in 
the 4th Article, in favour of the inhabitants of Canada, shall 
also take place, with regard to the inhabitants of the countries 
ceded by this Article. 

Restoration of French Islands. — Art. VIII. The king of Great 
Britain shall restore to France the islands of Guadaloupe, of 
Marie Galante, of Desirade, of Martinico, and of Belleisle ; 
and the fortresses of these islands shall be restored in the same 
condition they were in, when they were conquered by the 
British arms ; provided that his Britannic majesty's subjects, 
who shall have settled in the said islands, or those who shall 
have any commercial affairs to settle there, or in the other 
places restored to France by the present treaty, shall have 
liberty to sell their lands and their estates, to settle their 
affairs, to recover their debts, and to bring away their effects, 
as well as their persons, on board vessels, which they shall be 
permitted to send to the said islands, and other places restored 
as above, and which shall serve for this use only, without being 
restrained on account of their religion, or under any other 
pretence whatsoever, except that of debts, or of criminal pro- 
secutions : and for this purpose, the term of eighteen months 
is allowed to his Britannic majesty's subjects, to be computed 
from the day of the exchange of the ratifications of the present 
Treaty ; but, as the liberty, granted to his Britannic majesty's 
subjects, to bring away their persons and their effects, in vessels 
of their nation, may be liable to abuses, if precautions were not 
taken to prevent them ; it has been expressly agreed between 
his Britannic majesty and his most Christian majesty, that the 
number of English vessels, which shall have leave to go to the 
said islands and places restored to France, shall be limited, as 
well as the number of tons of each one ; that they shall go in 


ballast ; shall set sail at a fixed time ; and shall make one 
voyage only, all the effects, belonging to the English, being to 
be embarked at the same time. It has been fui'ther agreed, 
that his most Christian majesty shall cause the necessary pass- 
ports to be given to the said vessels ; that, for the greater 
security, it shall be allowed to place two French clerks or 
guards, in each of the said vessels, which shall be visited in 
the landing places, and ports of the said islands, and places, 
restored to France, and that the merchandise, which shall be 
found therein, shall be confiscated. 

Islands Ceded to England. — Art. IX. The most Christian king 
cedes and guarantees to his Britannic majesty, in full right, 
the islands of Grenada, and of the Grenadines, with the same 
stipulations in favour of the inhabitants of this colony, in- 
serted in the 4th Article for those of Canada ; and the 
partition of the islands, called Neutral, is agreed and fixed, 
so that those of St. Vincent, Dominica, and Tobago, shall 
remain in full right to Great Britain, and that of St. Lucia 
shall be delivered to France, to enjoy the same likewise in 
full right ; and the high contracting parties guaranty the 
partition so stipulated. 

Goree and Senegal. — Art. X. His Britannic majesty shall 
restore to Fi-ance the island of Goree, in the condition it was 
in when conquered : and his most Christian majesty cedes, 
in full right, and guarantees to the king of Great Britain, the 
river Senegal, with the forts and factories of St. Lewis, Podor, 
and Galam ; and with all the rights and dependencies of the 
said river Senegal. 

India. — Art. XI. In the East Indies, Great Britain shall 
restore to France, in the condition they are now in, the 
different factories, which that crown possessed, as well on 
the coast of Coromandel, and Orixa, as on that of Malabar, 
as also in Bengal, at the beginning of the year 1749. And his 
most Christian majesty renounces all pretensions to the acquisi- 
tions which he had made on the coast of Coromandel and Orixa, 
since the said beginning of the year 1749. His most Christian 
majesty shall restore, on his side, all that he may have con- 
quered from Great Britain, in the East Indies, during the 
present war ; and will expressly cause Nattal and TapanouUy, 
in the island of Sumatra, to be restored ; he engages further, 
not to erect fortifications, or to keep troops in any part of the 


dominions of the subah of Bengal. And in order to preserve 
future peace on the coast of Coromandel and Orixa, the English 
and French shall acknowledge Mahomet Ally Khan for lawful 
nabob of the Carnatic, and Salabat Jing for lawful subah of 
the Decan; and both parties shall renounce all demands and 
pretensions of satisfaction, with which they might charge 
each other, or their Indian allies, Tfor the depredations, or 
pillage, committed, on the one side, or on the other, during 
the war. 

Minorca. — Art. XII. The island of Minorca shall be restored 
to his Britannic majesty, as well as Fort St. Philip, in the same 
condition they were in, when conquered by the arms of the 
most Christian king; and with the artillery which was there, 
when the said island and the said fort were taken. 

Dunkirk. — Art. XIII. The town and port of Dunkirk shall 
be put into the state fixed by the last Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, 
and by former treaties. The cunette shall be destroyed im- 
mediately after the exchange of the ratifications of the present 
Treaty, as well as the forts and batteries which defend the 
entrance on the side of the sea ; and provision shall be made, 
at the same time, for the wholesomeness of the air, and for the 
health of the inhabitants, by some other means, to the satisfac- 
tion of the king of Great Britain. 

Germany. — Art. XIV. France shall restore all the countries 
belonging to the electorate of Hanover, to the landgrave of 
Hesse, to the duke of Brunswick, and to the count of La Lippe 
Buckebourg, which are, or shall be occupied by his most Chris- 
tian majesty's arms ; the fortresses of these different countries 
shall be restored in the same condition they were in, when 
conquered by the French arms ; and the pieces of artillery, 
which shall have been carried elsewhere, shall be replaced 
by the same number of the same bore, weight, and metal. 

Time for Evacuation. — Art. XV. In case the stipulations, 
contained in the 13th Article of the Preliminaries, should 
not be completed at the time of the signature of the present 
treaty, as well with regard to the evacuations to be made by 
the armies of France of the fortresses of Cleves, Wesel, Gueldres, 
and of all the countries belonging to the king of Prussia, as 
with regard to the evacuations to be made by the British and 
French armies of the countries which they occupy in West- 
phalia, Lower Saxony, on the Lower Rhine, the Upper Rhine, 


and in all the empire, and to the retreat of the troops into the 
dominions of their respective sovereigns ; their Britannic, and 
most Christian majesties promise to proceed, hona fide, with 
all the dispatch the case will permit of, to the said evacuations, 
the entire completion whereof they stipulate before the 15th 
of March next, or sooner if it can be done ; and their Britannic 
and most Christian majesties further engage and promise to 
each other, not to furnish any succours, of any kind, to their 
respective allies, who shall continue engaged in war in 

Spaiiish Prizes before War. — Art, XVI. The decision of the 
prizes made in the time of peace, by the subjects of Great 
Britain, on the Spaniards, shall be referred to the courts of 
justice of the admiralty of Great Britain, conformably to the 
rules established among all nations, so that the validity of 
the said prizes, between the British and Spanish nations, shall 
be decided and judged, according to the law of nations, and 
according to treaties, in the courts of justice of the nation, who 
shall have made the capture. 

Logwood. — Art. XVII. His Britannic majesty shall cause 
to be demolished all the fortifications which his subjects shall 
have erected in the bay of Honduras, and other places of the 
territory of Spain in that part of the world, four months after 
the ratification of the present treaty ; and his Catholic majesty 
shall not permit his Britannic majesty's subjects, or their 
workmen, to be disturbed, or molested, under any pretence 
whatsoever, in the said places, in their occupation of cutting, 
loading, and carrying away logwood : and for this purpose, they 
may build without hindrance, and occupy without interruption, 
the houses and magazines which are necessary for them, for 
their families, and for their effects : and his Catholic majesty 
assures to them, by this Article, the full enjoyment of those 
advantages, and powers, on the Spanish coasts and territories, 
as above stipulated, immediately after the ratification of the 
present treaty. 

Spanish Fishery. — Art. XVIII. His Catholic majesty desists, 
as well for himself, as for his successors, from all pretension, 
which he may have formed, in favour of the Guipuscoans, and 
other his subjects, to the right of fishing in the neighbourhood 
of the island of Newfoundland. 

Restoration of Cuba. — Art. XIX. The king of Great Britain 


shall restore to Spain all the territory which he has con- 
quered in the island of Cuba, with the fortress of the Havana, 
and this fortress, as well as all the other fortresses of the said 
island, shall be restored in the same condition they were in 
when conquered by his Britannic majesty's arms ; provided, 
that his Britannic majesty's subjects, who shall have any com- 
mercial affairs to settle there, shall have liberty to sell their 
lands, and their estates, to settle their affairs, to recover their 
debts, and to bring away their ett'ects, as well as their persons, 
on board vessels which they shall be permitted to send to the 
said island restoied as above, and which shall serve for that 
use only, without being restrained on account of their religion, 
or under any other pretence whatsoever, except that of debts, 
or criminal prosecutions : and for this purpose, the term of 
eighteen months is allowed to his Britannic majesty's subjects, 
to be computed from the day of the exchange of the ratifica- 
tions of the present treaty : but as the liberty, granted to his 
Britannic majesty's subjects, to bring away their persons, and 
their effects, in vessels of their nation, may be liable to abuses, 
if precautions were not taken to prevent them ; it has been 
expressly agreed, between his Britannic majesty and his Catholic 
majesty, that the number of English vessels, which shall have 
leave to go to the said island restored to Spain, shall be limited, 
as well as the number of tons of each one ; that they shall go 
in ballast ; shall set sail at a fixed time ; and shall make one 
voyage only ; all the effects belonging to the English being to 
be embarked at the same time : it has been further agreed, 
that his Catholic majesty shall cause the necessary passports to 
be given to the said vessels ; that, for the greater security, it 
shall be allowed to place two Spanish clerks, or guards, in 
each of the said vessels, which shall be visited in the landing- 
places, and ports of the said island restored to Spain, and 
that the merchandise which shall be found therein, shall be 

Florida. — Art. XX. In consequence of the restitution stipu- 
lated in the preceding Article, his Catholic majesty cedes and 
guai-antees, in full right, to his Britannic majesty, Florida, with 
Fort St, Augustin and the bay of Pensacola, as well as all that 
Spain possesses on the continent of North America, to the east, 
or to the south-east, of the river Mississippi. And, in general, 
everything that depends on the said countries, and' lands, with 

VOL. II. 2-li 


the sovereignty, property, possession, and all rights, acquired 
by treaties or otherwise, which the Catholic king, and the 
ci'own of Spain, have had, till now, over the said countries, 
lands, places, and their inhabitants ; so that the Catholic king 
cedes and makes over the whole to the said king, and to the 
crown of Great Britain, and that in the most ample manner 
and form. His Britannic majesty agrees, on his side, to grant 
to the inhabitants of the countries, above ceded, the liberty of 
the Catholic religion : he will consequently give the most express 
and the most effectual orders, that his new Roman Catholic 
subjects may profess the worship of their religion, according to 
the rites of the Romish church, as far as the laws of Great 
Britain permit : his Britannic majesty further agrees, that the 
Spanish inhabitants, or others who had been subjects of the 
Catholic king in the said countries, may retire, with all safety 
and freedom, wherever they think proper ; and may sell their 
estates, provided it be to his Britannic majesty's subjects, and 
bring away their effects, as well as their persons, without being 
restrained in their emigration, under any pretence whatsoever, 
except that of debts or of criminal prosecutions : the term, 
limited for this emigration, being fixed to the space of eighteen 
months, to be computed from the day of the exchange of the 
ratifications of the present treaty. It is moreover stipulated, 
that his Catholic majesty shall have power to cause all the 
effects, that may belong to him, to be brought away, whether 
it be artillery, or other things. 

Evacuation of Portuguese Territory. — Art. XXI. The French 
and Spanish troops shall evacuate all the territories, lands, 
towns, places, and castles, of his most Faithful majesty, in 
Europe, without any reserve, which shall have been conquered 
by the armies of France and Spain, and shall restore them in 
the same condition they were in when conquered, Avith the same 
artillery, and ammunition, which was found there : and with 
regard to the Portuguese colonies in America, Africa, or in the 
East Indies, if any change shall have happened there, all things 
shall be restored on the same footing they were in, and con- 
formably to the preceding treaties which subsisted between 
the courts of France, Spain, and Portugal, before the present 

Restoration of Archives. — Art. XXII. All the papers, letters, 
documents, and archives, which were found in the countries, 


territories, towns, and places, that are restored, and those be- 
longing to the countries ceded, shall be respectively and bona fide, 
delivered, or furnished at the same time, if possible, that posses- 
sion is taken, or, at latest, four months after the exchange of 
the ratifications of' the present treaty, in Avhatever places the 
said papers or documents may be found. 

Unknown Conquesl!<. — Art. XXIII. All the countries and 
territories, which may have been conquered, in whatsoever 
part of the world, by the arms of their Britannic and most 
Faithful majesties, as well as by those of their most Christian 
and Catholic majesties, which are not included in the present 
treaty, either under the title of cessions, or under the title of 
restitutions, shall be restored without difficulty, and without 
requiring any compensation. 

Epochs.— Axt. XXIV. As it is necessary to assign a fixed 
epoch for the restitutions, and the evacuations, to be made 
by each of the high contracting parties ; it is agreed, that the 
British and French troops shall complete, before the 1 5th of 
March next, all that shall remain to be executed of the 12th 
and 13th Articles of the Preliminaries, signed the 3rd of 
November last, with regard to the evacuation to be made in 
the empire, or elsewhere. The island of Belleisle shall be 
evacuated six weeks after the exchange of the ratifications 
of the present treaty, or sooner, if it can be done. Guadeloupe, 
Desirade, Marie Galante, Martinico, and St. Lucia, three months 
after the exchange of the I'atifications of the present treaty, 
or sooner if it can be done. Great Britain shall likewise, at 
the end of three months after the exchange of the ratifications 
of the present treaty, or sooner, if it can be done, enter into 
the posse.ssion of the river and port of the Mobile, and of all 
that is to form the limits of the territory of Great Britain, 
on the side of the river Mississippi, as they are specified in the 
7th Article. The island of Gortie shall be evacuated by Great 
Britain, three months after the exchange of the ratifications 
of the present treaty ; and the island of Minorca, by France, 
at the same epoch, or sooner, if it can be done : and according 
to the conditions of the 6th Article, France shall likewise enter 
into possession of the islands of St. Peter, and of Miquelon, at 
the end of three months after the exchange of the ratifications 
of the present treaty. The factories in the East Indies shall 
be restored six months after the oxchantre of the ratifications 


of the present treaty, or sooner, if it can be done. The for- 
tresses of the Havana, with all that has been conquered in 
the island of Cuba, shall be restored three months after the 
exchange of the ratifications of the present treaty, or sooner, 
if it can be done : and, at the same time. Great Britain shall 
enter into possession of the country ceded by Spain, according 
to the 20th Article. All the places and countries of his most 
Faithful majesty in Europe, shall be restored immediately after 
the exchange of the ratifications of the present treaty : and 
the Portuguese colonies, which may have been conquered, shall 
be restored in the space of three months in the West Indies, 
and of six months in the East Indies, after the exchange of 
the ratifications of the present treaty, or sooner, if it can be 
done. All the fortresses, the restitution whereof is stipulated 
above, shall be restored, with the artillery and ammunition 
which were found there at the time of the conquest. In con- 
sequence Avhereof, the necessary orders shall be sent by each 
of the high contracting parties, with reciprocal passports for 
the ships that shall carry them, immediately after the exchange 
of the ratifications of the present treaty. 

King George as Elector. — Art. XXV. His Britannic majesty, 
as elector of Brunswic Lunenbourg, as well for himself, as for 
his heirs and successors, and all the dominions and possessions 
of his said Majesty in Germany, are included and guaranteed 
by the present treaty of peace. 

Mutual Guaraiitee. — Art. XXVI. Their sacred Britannic, 
most Christian, Catholic, and most Faithful majesties, promise 
to observe, sincerely and bo7ia fide, all the articles contained 
and settled in the present treaty ; and they will not suffer the 
same to be infringed, directly or indirectly, by their respective 
subjects ; and the said high contracting parties, generally and 
reciprocally, guaranty to each other all the stipulations of the 
present treaty. 

Ratification. — Art. XXVI I. The solemn ratifications of the 
present treaty, expedited in good and due foi-m, shall be 
exchanged in this city of Paris, between the high contracting 
parties, in the space of a month, or sooner if possible, to 
be computed from the day of the signature of the present 

In witness whereof, we the underwritten, their ambassadors 
extraordinary, and ministers plenipotentiary, have signed with 


our hand, in tlieir name, and in virtue of our full powers, tlie 
present definitive treaty, and have caused the seal of our arms 
to be put thereto. 

Done at Paris the 10th of February, 1763. 

(L.S.) Bedford, C.P.S. 

(L.S.) Choiseul, Due de Praslin. 

(L.S.) El Marquis de Grimaldi. 

Separate Articles, 

Saving Titles. — I. Some of the titles made use of by the 
contracting powers, either in the full powers, and other acts, 
during the course of the negotiation, or in the preamble of the 
present treaty, not being generally acknowledged ; it has been 
agreed, that no prejudice shall ever result therefrom to any 
of the said contracting parties, and that the titles, taken or 
omitted, on either side, on occasion of the said negotiation, 
and of the present treaty, shall not be cited or quoted as a 

French Language. — II. It has been agreed and determined, 
that the French language, made use of in all the copies of the 
present treaty, shall not become an example, which may be 
alleged, or made a precedent of, or prejudice, in any manner, 
any of the contracting powers ; and that they shall conform 
themselves, for the future, to what has been observed, and 
ought to be observed, with regard to, and on the part of 
powers, who are used, and have a right, to give and receive 
copies of like treaties in another language than French ; the 
present treaty having still the same force and effect, as if 
the aforesaid custom had been therein observed. 

Portugal. — III. Though the king of Poitugal has not signed 
the present definitive treaty, their Britannic, most Christian, 
and Catholic majesties acknowledge, nevertheless, that his 
most Faithful majesty is formally included therein as a con- 
tracting party, and as if he had expressly signed the said treaty ; 
consequently, their Britannic, most Christian, and Catholic 
majesties, respectively and conjointly promise to his most 
Faithful majesty, in the most express and most binding manner, 
the execution of all and every the clauses contained in the 
said treaty, on his act of accession. 


The present Separate Articles shall have the same force as 
if they were inserted in the treaty. 

In witness whereof, we the underwritten ambassadors extra- 
ordinary, and ministers plenipotentiary, of their Britannic, most 
Christian, and Catholic majesties, have signed the present 
Separate Articles, and have caused the seal of our arms to 
be put thereto. 

Done at Paris the 10th of February, 1763. 

(L.S.) Bedford, C.P.S. 

(L.S.) Choiseul, Due de Praslin. 

(L.S.) El Marquis de Grimaldi. 


Abercromby, Gen. James, his com- 
mand, 1758, 306-7 ; his disaster, 
330-3 ; superseded, 397 

Abraham, Heights of, 270, 419,452, 
456,464 ; iirilO-ll 

Abreu, Marques de, Spanish Ambas. 
in London, 48 

d'Ache, Anne Antoine, ComLe (Chef 
d'Escad.), 160, 338-40, 344-50; 
ii. 120-6, 129-30, 133-4 

Achilles, ii. 25 

Acrias, 249 

Active, ii. 321 

Actceon, ii. 52, 235-6 

Additional Instructions. See Fight- 
ing Instructions 

Africa, West Coast of, 337, 362, 366 ; 
ii. 183 

Aiguillon, Emanuel Armand, 
Vignerot - Duplessis - RicheHeu, 
Due d', Governor of Brittany, 
299-300 ; ii. 11, 18-9, 21, 45, 49, 
50, 56, 70 ; his overtures to 
Howe, 73, 76. 168 

Aix, Island of, 211-4, 217, 221, 223, 
261-2, 269 : ii. 176 

Aix-la-Chapelle, Peace of (1748), 11, 
17, 64, 82 ; ii. 178, 192 

Albany (New York), 175, 306 ; ii. 
106, 114 

Albemarle, George Keppel, 3rd Earl 
of, ii. 157; C. -in-C. against 
Havana, 241, 250, 253, 258, 261, 
266-73, 275-83 

Albemarle, William Anne Keppel, 
2Dd Earl of, Ambas. in Paris, 10, 
16, 27, 30 

Alcide, 55, 65, 260 

Aleppo, ii. 140 

Algarve, ii. 314, 321-2 

Alleghany, mountains, 13; river, 14 

AUer, river, 193, 233-5, 238, 245-6 

Almeria, 132 

Alva, Duke of, cited, ii. 95 n. 

Ambleteuse, ii. 18 

Amherst, Gen. Jeffrey (afterwards 
Lord Amherst), 254,"315 ; C.-in-C. 
at Louisbourg, 320-31 ; C.-in-C. 
in N. America, 397-9 ; his orders, 
1759, 404-5 ; his campaign, 423, 
442, 445, 452-3 ; in Montreal 
campaign (1760), ii. 105-7, 111, 
113-8 ; his instructions (1761), 
143, 154, 177-8, 209, 239,. 253, 
262 ; relieves Newfoundland, 

Amherst, Capt. John (afterwards 
Admiral, brother of above), 114 

Amherst, Col. William (afterwards 
General, brother of above and 
father of William Pitt, Earl 
Amherst), ii. 321-5 

Andrews, Capt. Thomas, 114 

Anson, Adm. of Fleet, George, Lord 
(First Lord of Admiralty), his 
character, 34-6, 42, 47, 49 ; his 
relations with Hardwicke, 51-2, 
85, 179 ; 58-9, 86 ; his responsi- 
bility for Minorca, 97, 102-3, 133- 
5; resigns, 138, 150; returns to 
office, 179-82 ; his relations with 
Pitt, 191, 232 ; ii. 11-13, 100, 103 ; 
hoists his flag (1758), 267, 269, 
273, 275, 289-91, 297, 373-5; at 
Admiralty (1759), 403 ; his home 
defence, ii. 9, 21-4, 27, 44, 46-7, 
49, 54, 73, 315-6 ; on Baltic 
squadron, 79 ; on Belleisle, 98, 
100, 131 ; 102 ; on war with 
Spain, 196-8, 203-4, 208; his 
design against Hanava, ii. 246-9, 
254-5, 259-60, 261 n.; dying, 297- 
8, 318 ; dead, 342 ; his influence 
on the navy, ii. ^66-73 ; his 
strategical opinions and practice, 
i. 265 n., 270. 273, 290, 311-3 ; 
ii. 374 ; on fleet tactics, i. 274-5 ; 
his pupils, i. 400 ; his influence 
as First Lord, i. 51, 56 ; ii. 366-73 ; 
letters of, i. 129-30 



Anson, Lady {Lad}' Elizabeth Yorke, 

Lord Hardwicke's daughter), 335 
Army, its antipathy to amphibious 

operations, 287, s'TG, 397 ; ii. 149- 

50, 158 
Arnouville (or Arnonville), 38G 
Aubignv, Comte d', Chef d'Escad., 

357-9, 3G3 
Audierne Bay, ii. 17, 28-9 
Augusta, 365 
Austria, policy of, 17, 74, 79, 141- 

3, 145, 148-9, 153, 1(50, 244, 284 ; 

ii. 141-2, 346 
Austrian Netherlands (Belgium), 

naval importance of, 64, 74, 142 ; 

ii. 175-6, 364, 373 
Auray (Morbihan), ii. 42-3, 59 


Bahamas, 351-2, 355, 383. See aho 

Old Bahama Channel 
Baird, Capt. Patrick, 114 
Baleine, ii. 134 
Balfour, Capt. George, 328 
Baltic, 38 ; Russian fleet in, 75, 185, 

193 ; ii. 288 ; British squadron 

proposed for, i. 146-7, 163-5, 184, 

187, 243, 262, 264 ; ii. 78-80 
Barbadoes, 351-6, 362-3, 377, 383, 

385, 392, 394 ; ii. 209, 218-9, 255 
Barbuda, 351 
Barjleur, 103, 211, 214 
Barr^, Major Isaac, A.-G., Quebec, 

449; Col., ii. 229 
Barrier fortresses, 19, 20, 38, 74, 76 
Barrington, Gen. Hon. John, 377 ; 

succeeds Hopson at Guadeloupe, 

382-95, 408 
Barrington, Capt. Hon. >Samuel 

(afterwards Adm., brother of 

above), 25 n. 
Barrington, William Wildman, 2nd 

Viscount, Sec. at War, brother of 

above, 377 ; ii. 227 ; treasurer of 

navy, 342 
Barton, Capt. Matthew, ii. 266 
Basque Roads, 203, 209, 211, 260-1, 

269, 316 ; ii. 42, 68, 80, 170, 315 
Basseterre (Guadeloupe), 379-83, 

386, 388, 391-2 
Basseterre (St. Kitt's), ii. 259 
Batiscan, 419, 443, 446, 450, 454-5 
Batticaloa, ii. 122 
Battleships, development of their 

classification, ii. 367-71 
Batz or Bas, island of, 273, 200 
Bauffremont, Chev. de, Prince de 

Listenois, Chef d'Escad., 159, 
160, 260, 263-4 

Bayreuth, Wilhelmine, Margravine 
of (Frederick's sister), 184 

Beauharnais Beaumont, Marquis 
de, Gov. of Fr. Leeward Islands, 

Beaumout (Quebec), 422 

Beauport, Cote de (Quebec), 417-9, 
427,430-1, 437, 440, 448, 452-3, 
456-7, 460, 462, 468-9, 470 

Beausejour (Acadia), 26 

Beaussier de I'lsle, Capt., 316, 326-7 

Bedford, 223 

Bedford, 314. 410 

Bedford, John Russell, 4th Duke of. 
Lord Lieut, of Ireland, 223 ; ii. 
15, 54 ; head of peace party in 
Cabinet, ii. 171-3, 176, 191-2, 194, 
212, 247, 293, 333 ; peace pleni- 
potentiary, 338, 342-3, 348, 355- 
60, 365 

Belfast Lough, ii. 89, 91 

Belleisle, Strait of, 56-7 

Belleisle, Island of, 70, 260 ; ii. 45, 
51-2, 57-9, 95-9, 101-3. 131, 133, 
135, 140-70, 173-6, 179, 189-90, 
210-1, 218, 220, 223, 251, 258, 270, 
317-22, 332, 341 

Belleisle, Louis, Due de Vernon, 
Mar^chal de, 87-92, 98, 247, 250- 
1, 283-4, 295-6, .303 ; ii. 17-20, 
45, 94, 168 ; dies, 149 

Berg, Duchy of (Prussian Rhine- 
land), 148, 203 

Bergen (Norway), ii. 88-9 

Berlin, Raid on, ii. 288 

Bermudas, 317 n. 

Bernis, Frangois de Pierre, Comte 
de, Fr. Foreign Minister, 247, 

Berryer, Nicolas Ren^, Fr. Minister 
of Marine, ii. 56 

Bic, Isle de (St. Lawrence), 402-3, 
407, 410, 419, 428 

Bienfaisant, 327-8, 334 

Blackstones (Ushant), ii. 28 

Blackwater River (Essex), ii. 18 

Blakeney, Gen. William, 98, 132 

Blankenburg, 195 

Bldnac Courbon, Chcv. de (Chef 
d'Escad.), ii. 234, 236-40, 242-4, 
279-9, 262-4. 279, 31.5-6, 323 

Bligh, Gen. Edward, 286-7, 293-9, 
372, 376 

Blockade, 273-5 ; ii. 27, 41, 54, 86, 
92, 135, 158, 160, 234-5 ; Keppel 
on, 169, 318-20 

Blond'-, ii. 91 



Boarding, ii. 57, 123 

Bohemia, ItJl, 163-4, 184-5, 193 

Uombay (as naval base), 340-1, 344, 
350 ; ii. 120, 127-1), 1S9 

Bompart (or Bompar), M. de, Chef 
d'Escad., 382-93; ii. 10, 22, 29, 
31. 43-4, 49, 52 

Bordeaux, 200, 203, 2G0, 262, 303-4, 
413-4 ; ii. 9, 27, 70, 103, 113, 170, 

Boscawen, Adm. Hon. Edward, 16 ; 
liis record, 42 ; as Lord of the 
Admiralty, 150, 159, 183 ; his 
command (1755), 45, et xeq ; his 
encounter with Delamotte, 54-9, 
65, 67, 72, 80-3, 139, 2;!6 ; ii. 
198; (1756), i. 129; C.-in-C, 
Louisbourg (1758), 254,307 n., 312 
-8, 323-30 ; his return, 334-5, 396 ; 
C.-in-C. in Mediterranean (1759), 
398-9, 464 ; ii. 9-10, 22, 24, 31- 
41 ; (1760), 90-1, 131 ; dead, 158 ; 
as a sea-officer, 275 ; ii. 101 ; no 
had fantassin,i. 325; his nervous- 
ness, 134 

Boston (Mass.), 26, 310, 317, 331, 
42;«, 433 ; ii. Ill 

Bougainville,, A.D.C. to Mont- 
calm, 102 ; his mission to France, 
411-4, 437, 444-8, 455-61, 466, 
469-72; ii. 109, 115-7 

Boulogne, 93, 263, 272 ; ii. 18, 95-6 

Bourlamaque, Chev. de, 102, 475; 
ii. 109, 115-7 

Boys, Commodore William, 21, 47-8, 
88-9, 92 

Braddock, Maj.-Gen. Edward, 16, 
25, 27, 31, 42-3, 45 ; defeat and 
death of, 73 

Bradstreet, Col., 333 

Bremen, 161, 193, 195, 224-6, 238-9, 
241-2, 245-6 

Bremervorde, 224, 226, 233 

Brest passira. >'«■ Blockade, Hawke, 
Boscawen, Keppel, Spry, &c. 

J5rett, Adni. Sir Peircy, "i29, 131, 
205, 216, 220; ii. 5, 10, 31, 36- 
40 ; at Cadiz, 43, 86-8 

Brilliant, ii. 90 

Bristol, Augustus Herve.y. :>rd Earl 
of. See Capt. llervey 

George William Ilervcy, 2iid 

Earl, ambas. to Madrid (1758- 
1762\ ii. 42, 151. 1S!=!, 1^4, 198- 
201, 215-7, 229-31. 217 

Brodrick, Adm. Thomas, 129, 131, 
205, 216. 220 ; ii. 5. 10, 31, 36-40 ; 
at Cadiz, 43, 86-8 

Broglie, Marechal Victor Fran9ois, 

Due de. 238-9, 244, 292; ii. 14, 
26, 30, 167, 179, 182, 308 ?j. 
Brunswick, 154, 155, 193, 196, 226, 

229, 233-4. 245-6 
Brunswick-Wolfenbiittel, Karl Wil- 
helm. Hereditary Prince of, ii. 
104, 167. See also Ferdinand and 
Louis of Brunswick 
Buchanness, ii. 88 
Backiwjham, 100, 114, 117 
Buckle, Commodore Matthew, ii. 

158, 169-70, 233 
Bull River, 12, 14, 25 
Bunge (Swedish foreign minister), 
intercepted letters of, 84-5, 96-7, 
Burford, ii. 66 

Burgoyne, Brigadier John, ii. 322 
Burton, Colonel, .398, 426, 463-4 ; 

at Havana, ii. 278-9 
Bussy, General de, 344 
Bussy, Abbe, his mission to Eng- 
land, ii. 182, 187-92, 200, 285 
Bute, John Stuart, 3rd Earl of, 288 ; 
ii. 102 ; his anti-German policy, 
144; Sec. of State. 171, 174-5; 
j heads peace party, 198-200, 202-3; 
i forms new administration, 211-2 ; 
I 247, 252 ; his intrigues for peace, 
I 285-94, 296-8, 333-4, 342, .346-9, 
I 355-60 ; First Lord of Treasury, 
I .337, 361 ; his quarrel with Fred- 
I erick, 329-31, 333-8, 34.3, 353-4, 
1 361-2 ; his unpopularity, 218, 

354 ; his fall, 365 
I Byng, Adm. Hon. John, his com- 
j mand, 1756, 97-8 ; his instruc- 
I lions, 100-1 ; his character, 104-7 ; 
his campaign. 111 et seq. ; his 
tactics, 11.5-121; ii. 57; super- 
seded, 129-31 ; execution, 1.33-4, 
140, 175 
Byron, Capt. Hon. John (afterwards 
Admiral), ii. 108, 113 

Cadiz, 53, 70, 211-2, 265 ; ii. 35-6. 
43, 86-7, 194, 196, 217, 230-2, 
303-14, 321-2 

Caen, 228, 280 

Calcutta, 149, 157. .341-2. .344, 350; 
ii. 121-7 

C'aldwell, Lieut. (Capt. 1765), 401 n. 

Campeachy Bav, ii. 276 

Canoall Bay, 275-7, 279 

Cap Franfois (capital of San Do- 
mingo, now Cap Haytien), 353-4, 



347-GO, 3G3-7, 393; ii. 237-9, 

242-4, 256, 259-9, 2(J2-3, 323 
Cap Kouije (R. St. Lawrence), 435-7, 

456, 459, 461-5, 468 
Cape Antonio (Cuba), 358-9, 365, 

368 ; ii. 265, 276 
Cape Breton Island, 18, 43, 76, 

318-9, 328; ii. 156 
Cape Coast Castle, 366 
Cape Clear, ii. 90, 114-5, 179, 323 
Cape Nicholas (St. Domingo), 368; 

ii. 240, 253, 256, 258-9, 261, 

Cape Passaro, Battle of, ii. 198 
Cape Race, 53 
Cape Sagres, 391 
Cape St. Vincent, ii. 35-6, 39 
Cape Tiburon (St. Domingo), 354, 

359; ii.257 
Cape Torrinana, ii. 320 
Capes-Terres (Guadeloupe), 381-2, 

Captain, 100, 114, 410, 423, 430 
Captain - General, Office of, dis- 
cussed, 230 
Cardinals, Battle of. See Quiberon. 
Carical, 346, 349; ii. 129, 138 
Carisbrook Castle, 271-2 
Carlisle Bay (Barbadoes), 253 ; ii. 

Carkett, Capt. Robert, 259 
Carleton, Col. Guy (afterwards Lord 

Dorchester), Q.-M.-G., Quebec 

(1759), 408, 411, 416, 426, 432, 

437-8; at Belleisle, ii. 163; 

Q.-M.-G., Havana, ii. 250, 268-9, 

Carrickfergus, raid on, ii. 89-90 
Cartagena, 44, 238, 255-8, 399 ; ii. 

243, 247, 276, 303-6 
Cas Navires (Martinique), 378 ; ii. 

221, 235, 255 , 
Castillon, Capt. de, 352 
Cassel, 186 ; ii. 288, 344-5, 362 
Catford, Capt. Charles, 114 
Cay Comfite, ii. 264, 279 
Cay Lobos, ii. 264 
Cay Sal, ii. 262-4 
Caycos Passage, 359 ; ii. 279 
Cavlus, Chev. and Marquis de, 352 
Cdebre, 327 
Celle, 233. 235, 245 
Centaurc, ii. 37-8 
Vcntarion, 130, 410, 440; ii. 249 
Cevennes, The, 163-4 
Chads (or Shads), Capt. James, 463, 

du Chaffault de Besne, Capt. le 

Comte, 316-7, 334-5 

Cliandernagore, 157, 342, 344-5, 

Charente River, 211 ; ii. 70, 80, 86, 
159, 233 

Charles III. (of Spain), ii. 74, 76, 
186-9, 300-1 

Chinsura, ii. 127-8 

Choiseul, Comte de, ii. 365 

Etienne Fran9ois, Due de. 

Minister of War, Marine, and 
Foreign Affairs. His first in- 
vasion project, ii. 4, 17-9, 22-3, 
45, 49 ; tries to snatch a peace, 
73-7 ; his Spanish policy, 149, 
152, 155, 174-5, 179-89, 195, 
201-3; his war plans, 167, 176; 
his second invasion project, 233, 
251,297-308,324-5; his negotia- 
tions with Bute, 286, 297, 331-2, 
338-41, 346-50 ; makes peace, 
361-2; his share in Pitt's fall, 
1S3-.5; his apologia, 183-5; on 
commerce destruction, 299 ; on 
colonies, 340, 362 

Chorera (Cuba), ii. 270, 272, 275-6, 

Ciudadela (Minorca), 105, 111-2, 

Clarke, Capt., 192 

Clermont, Gen. Louis, Comte de. 
Prince de Bourbon Conde, 244-7, 
250-2, 282-4, 286, 302-3 ; super- 
seded, 288 

Cleveland (or Clevland), John, Sec. 
to Admiralty, 373 ; ii. 342 

Cleves, duchy of, 148 ; city of, 153, 
240, 283 ; ii. 340, 362. See also 
Prussian Rhineland. 

Clive, Col. Robert, 340-2, 350; ii. 
121-2, 127-8 ; his proposals to 
Pitt, 343 ; ii. 121, 130-1 

Coesfeldt, battle of, 292 

Colberg, ii. 288-9, 290, 295, 351 

Colville, Capt. Alexander, Lord, 
473; Commodore and C.-in-C, N. 
America, ii. 107, 112-3, 209, 253, 

Combined expeditions, disturbance 
by, 194-6, 199, 227-8, 236, 252, 
254-5, 282-4. 295, 30-2-3; ii..l4, 
83, 96, 103, 130-4, 168, 176-7; 
direction of, 218 ; ii. 102 

Command of sea. See Lines of Pass- 
age and Conununication 

Commander-in-Chief, oiiice of, 231 

Commerce destruction, war value of, 
Gl ; ii. 299, 375-6 

protection, system of, in W. 

Indies, 353-8, 361-2, 369 



Commnnications. iSfff Lines of Pass- 

Communication theory of naval 
strategy, 308 

Conflans, Hubert deBnenne, Comte 
de, 98, 290 ; ii. 22 ; his campaign 
(1759). 27, 30-1, 45-51; puts to 
sea, 52-5 ; his fighting instruc- 
tions, 56-7 ; his defeat, 5S-G9 

Conqueror, ii. 33, 87 

Contadcs, Marechal Louis Eras- 
mus, Marquis, 288, 295, 802 ; ii. 
14, 22, 30-1 

"Continental School," The, 9, 290 

Convoys, 129, 353-8, 3G1-2. 393; 
ii. 9 

Conwav, Gen. Hon. Henry Sey- 
mour, 201-2, 209, 220 

Coote, Col. (Sir) Eyre, ii. 122, 129- 
30, 134-5 

Cornewall, Capt. Frederick, 114' 

Capt. James, 44 

Cornish, Adm. (Sir) Samuel, ii. 
126-7, 129, 137 n.; C.-in-C, E. 
Indies, 138-40, 365 

Cororaandel Coast, 341, 346 ; ii. 129, 
133, 136, 138-9, 340 

Corsica, 91, 98, 124, 129, 135-7, 144, 

Cotes, Adm. Thomas, 363-5 

Coudres, Isle de (St. Lawrence), 
407, 411, 414, 428 

Council of Defence. See Secret 

Councils of War, Byng's, 124-5, 170, 
213, 216-20; at Quebec, 438, 
451-2; ii. 43 

Crauford (or Crawfurd), Gen. John, 
ii. 163, 165-6 

Crefeldt, Battle of, 286 

Crete, 383 

Croisic, 67-8, 70 

Croix (Groix or Groa), Isle de, ii. 43 

Crooked Island Passage, 353, 359 

Crovirn Point, 25, 405 ; ii. 115 

Cruiser work, 47 ; ii. 20-1. 50-6, 
89-91, 235 

Cruisers, development of, ii. 367-71 

Cuba, .351 ; ii. 246, 259, .347. See 

Cuddalore, 346 

Cumberland, William, Duke of, 
C.-in-C, headquarters, 16, 33-4, 
41, 60, 67, 103 ; C.-in-C. in West- 
phalia, 1.58, 162, 185-6, 192-9, 
224-7 ; his recall and di.sgrace, 
230, 408-9 ; his influence revived, 
ii. 157, 249-50, 253 ; in opposition 
to Bute, 342 

Gumming, Thomas, the " Fighting 

Quaker," 157, 3.37 
Curagoa, 352 


Dartmouth, Adm., Lord, 119 

Dauphin Royal, 55-6 

Deane, Capt. Joseph, ii. 112, 114. 
Sec also Reprisals 

Declaration of War, hostilities be- 
fore, 50 et seq., 58-9 

Defensive, Use of Naval, 270-1, 329; 
ii. 3, 123. 373-4 

Defiance, 100, 114. 119, 120 

Delamotte. See Dubois 

Delfzijl, 248 

Denis, Coram . (after Adm. Sir 
Peter), ii. 315 

Denmark, 23-66, 98, 155, 163-4 ; 
mediation by, 225-6 ; ii. 5, 75, 
79, 294-5, 327 

Dcptford, 114, 121 

Deseada Island, 392 

Deschambault, 447, 456 ; ii. 109 

Devonshire, William, 4th Duke of, 
his administration (1756), 150, 
158 ; during the peace negotia- 
tions, 192, 200, 212, 247, 333-4, 
349, 363 

Devonshire, 314, 410 ; ii. 55 

Diana, 432-3 

Diego Rays or Rodriguez, ii. 137-9 

Diemal River, ii. 344-7 

Dieppe, 99 ; ii. 93 

Dinan, 278, 297 

Dinwiddle, Robert, Lieut.-Gov. of 
Virginia, 14 

" Discipline," synonymous with 
"tactics," 274 

Diversions, theory and use of, 
206-9, 272, 291 

Doddington, Bubb, 59-61 

Dol, 277 

Dolphin, 114 

Dominica, 259, 339, .351-2, 364, 
384, 390 ; ii. 143, 177-8, 182, 189, 

Douglas, Adm. Sir James, C.-in-C. 
Leeward Islands, ii. 143, 177-8, 
198, 209-10 ; under Rodnev, 
218-9, 233, 237-8, 240, 242-3. 
258, 261-2, 269, 277 

Downs, the, 72 ; ii. 21-2, 316, 

Drake, Capt. (afterwards Adm. Sir) 
Francis William, il. 26() 

Drake, Sir Francis, 50-1 ; at Cadiz, 
210-1, 388-9 ; ii. 246. 2()0, 266 



Draper, Col. (Sir) William, ii. 249, 
254, 365 

Dresden, 149, 153, 193 ; ii. 75, 

Drucourt, Capt. Cliev. de, Gov. of 
Isle Rovale, 324, 329, 332 

Dublin, 3i4-5, 320, 410 ; ii. 258 

Du Bois de la Motte, Adm. Comte, 
47, 50, 54-6, 62, 72, 168, 172-4, 
177-8, 184, 237, 339 

Duff, Capt. Robert, ii. 42-3, 46, 50-3, 
59-60, 62, 64, 68 

Dumas, Maj.-Gen., 431, 436-7 

Dumet Island, ii. 67, 93 

Dunkirk, 19, 20, 64, 80, 88, 89, 99, 
161, 254, 266, 282-5, 303, 413 ; ii. 
19, 21-2, 40, 47, 86-9, 92, 124-5, 
182, 193, 254, 305-6, 315-G, 318, 
345, 358 

Dunkirk, 53, 55 

Dupleix, Gen., 338, 344 

Duquesne, Adm. Marquis Ange, 13, 
14, 256-60, 281 

Duquesne, Fort, 15, 25, 73, 260 

Durell, Adm. Philip, 114 ; Louis- 
bourg campaign (1758), 313; Que- 
bec campaign (1759), 397, 399 ; 
Wolfe's opinion of, 401-3 ; his 
orders, 403-4 ; his mistake, 407, 
411, 414-5; 417, 420, 425, 428, 
473 ; ii. 54. 

Dusseldorf, 273, 284, 286, 288 

Dutch. See Holland 

Duvernay, French Minister of War, 


Eccentric attacks, theory of, 206-9, 
271-2, 376 ; ii. 36 

Eccentric retreat, 224-5 

Echemin River, 442, 449, 458. 463 

EcJio, 326 

Ecureils, 444 

Edgecombe, Comm. Hon. George 
(Earl Mount - Edgecombe), 72, 
97-8, 101, 105-7. 114 

Edinburgh, 36(5 

Edwards, Capt. Richard, 171 

Egremont, Charles Wyndham, 2nd 
Earl of. Sec. of State after Pitt, 
ii. 213, 217, 247 ; negotiates peace, 

, 286, 333, 343, 346-50, 355-61 

Eguille. See Froger de I'Eguille 

Eliott, Col. George Augustus (Lord 
Heathfield), 294 ; general at Ha- 
vana, 250, 267, 271 

Elizabeth, Czarina of Russia, 22, 75, 
141 ; death of, ii. 290, 373 

} Elliot,Capt. John (afterwards Adm.), 
' ii. 90-1 

Elphinstone, Capt. John (after- 
wards Adm.), 302 n. ; ii. 241, 
262-4, 279 

Emden, 185, 194-5, 199, 205, 223, 
241-53, 264, 285-9, 291-2, 372, 
399 ; ii. 48, 79, 83, 21 1 

Emperor, the. See Tuscaiij", Grand 
Duke of, and Maria Theresa 

Ems River, 23, 162, 185, 2^9, 242, 
247-8 ; ii. 288 
I English Harbour (Antigua), 352 
j Ensenada, Marquis of, ii. 150 

Entreprenant, 56 

Erfurt, 163, 193 

Essex, ii. 18, 68 

Essex, Earl of (1596), on diversions, 

Estaing, Charles, Comte d', Briga- 
dier (afterwards Admiral), ii. 129 

Estr^es, Louis de Tellier, Marechal 
Comte d', 162, 185-7, 192-3 ; ii. 

Everit, Capt. Michael, 1 1 4 


Fabre, Capt., ii. 279 

"Family Compact," The, ii. 153, 
180-9, 195, 197, 216 

Faroes, ii. 89 

Favourite, ii. 321 

Ferdinand, Prince of Brunswick- 
Wolfenbuttel, Gen.-Lieut., 229 ; 
his campaign (1757), 233-40; 
(1758) 243-53; calls for coastal 
diversion, 266-7, 27'2-.3, 295, 302; 
ii. 133 ; passes the Rhine, i. 282-4, 
286, 288-9 ; forced to repass, 292, 
372 ; General-Feldmarschall (1759) 
ii. 13-14, 26, 30-1, 77-S ; (1760) 
reinforced from England, 80-6, 
132 ; his campaign, 94, 96, 103-4, 
lOS, 119. 133 ; (1761) 156, 166, 179, 
182 ; (1762) 298, 343-6. 361 

Ferdinand VI. (of Spain), ii. 74, 373 

Ferrol, ii. 232-3. 303, 305-8. 311-2, 
315-20, 322, 344 

Fighting Instructions (English), 35, 
1 16-21, 347 ; ii. 37, 63-4, 371 ; of 
Conflans, 56-7 

Finisterre, Battle of, 35 

Fisheries, ii. 15(J, 172, 179-80, 190, 
19 2-3 

Flanders, naval importance of, 42, 
76, 78, 197, 266-7, 283, 303, 372, 
381; ii. 95, 102, 131, 168 



Fleet, reform in its organisation, 
* ii. 3GG-71 
Flobert, Gen. de, ii. 89 
Flota. See Plate Fleet 
Flotilla, defensive, ii. 8, 20-1,814, 

316 ; offensive, 9, 35 ; differentia- 
tion of, 21 n., 367-71 
Florida, ii. 361-2 
Forbes, Adm. Hon. John, ii. 318 
Forde, Col., ii. 121 
PormidaLlr, ii. G9 
Forrest, Capt. Arthur, 365-8 
Fort Chambly, ii. 1 16-7 
Fort Edward, 175 
FortFouras (Rochefort), 215-6 
Fort Louis (Guadeloupe), 381-3, 

386, 388 
Fort Niagara, 25 
Fort Royal (Martinique, now Fort 

de France), 353, 357, 368, 383-5, 

390; ii. 219; capture of, 220-5, 

Fort St. David, 346-8 
Fort William Henry, 175 
Fortune, sloop, ii. 51 
Frankfort, ii. 14, 27, 156 
Frehel, Cape, 297 
Freyburg, ii. 342 
Friesland (East rrisia),23, 185, 194. 

199, 23r,, 238-9, 245-7, 250, 264, 

Frojer de I'Eguille, Capt., ii. 121, 

123, 125 
Fuentes, Conde de, Spanish ambas. 

in London, ii. 85, 96-7, 150-3, 

194-5, 215, 230 
Fundy, Bay of, 26, 73, 230, 331 


Gabarus Bay, 318-9, 321, 325, 330 

Galicia, ii. 306 

Galissoniere, Adm. Marquis de la, 

12-3, 26 ; his character, 107-8 ; 

his orders (1756), 108-10; his 

Minorca campaign, 132, 136-7; 

his flagship taken, 258-9 
Galitzin, Alexander, Duke, Russian 

envoy in London, 165 ; ii. 292, 

Gambler, Capt. James, ii. 66 n 
Gardiner, Capt. Arthur, 114, 116, 

121, 258-9 
Geary, Adm. Francis, ii. 43, 47, 53, 

55, 69, 70 
Genoa, policy of, 91, 97, 135-6 
George II., 22, 39, 47, 65, 73-4, 146, 

155, 157-8, 197-8, 285, 289 ; ii. 

12, 93 ; his sudden death, 100-1 ; 
influence on selection of officers, 
ii. 201, 286, 377 

George III., ii. 102; his antipathy 
to Germany, 144, 213 ; opposes 
Pitt, 156-7 ,203 ; eager for peace, 
192, 350, 356-7 ; ii. 249, 295-6, 

Gibraltar, 56 

Glasgow, intended raid on, ii. 19 

Goltz, Gen. Baron von der, ii. 330 

Gombroon, ii. 129 

Goodricke, Sir John, minister desig- 
nate to Sweden. 239, 244 

Goosetrey, Capt. William, ii. 273 

Goree, 304, 337, 374 ; ii. 81, 174, 179, 
286, 307, 322 

Gosport, 171 

Goteberg, ii. 88 

Goth a, 154, 226 

Gouttes, Marquis Charry des, Chef 
d'Escad., 316-7, 323-33 

Grafton, 242 

Granby, Gen. John Manners, Mar- 
quis of, 285 ; C.-in-C. in Germany, 
ii. 83, 85, 182. 344-5 

Grande Terre (Guadeloupe), 381-2, 
387-8, 390 

Granville, John Carteret, Earl of. 
President of the Council, 16 ; his 
character, 33, 42, 46 ; on com- 
merce destruction, 61 ; his atti- 
tude to peace, ii. 174, 198, 205, 
349 ; on war direction, 205 

(Normandy), 99, 278, 280, 295 

Graves, Capt. Thomas (;ifterwards 
Adm. Lord), ii. 25 n., 324-5 

Great Portage, ii. 114 

Greemvich, 160, 360-7 

Grenada and Grenadines, 351, 393; 
ii. 225, 236, 332-3, 341 

Grenville, George. Treasurer of 
Navy, succeeds Pitt as leader of 
Commons, ii. 212-5, 217, 227-8, 
247, 252, 254, 296, 333-6 ; Secre- 
tary of State, 337, 342, 346-50, 
355-60 ; returns to Admiralty, 

Griffon, 391 

Grimaldi, Marquis de, Spanish 
ambas. in Paris, ii. 151-3, 184-7, 
190, 194-5, 197, 201-2, 204, 215, 
307 ; Choiseul's treatment of, 341, 
349, 358, 361, 365 

Guadeloupe, 354-5; conquest of, 
379-89, 391-2, 395 ; ii. 66, 143, 
174-5, 177, 179, 199, 209, 210, 
218, 237, 304, 307; as peace 
counter, 332-3, 340, 346 



Guardships, function of, in mobi- 
lisation, 36 ; ii. 90 

Guay, Comte du, Chef d'Escad., 

Gueldres (Prussian Rhineland), ii. 
340, 343, 346-7. 349, 350-2, 355, 

Guernsey, ii. 38 

Guildford, ii. 354 

Guinea ships (slavers), 362-3 

Gunnery (naval), ii. 274-5 


Halberstadt, 196, 232 

Haldane, Col. George, Gov. desig- 
nate of Jamaica, 388 

Halifax, George Montagu - Dunk, 
Earl of, 158 ; succeeds Anson, ii. 
318, 342, 361 ; Sec. of State, 361, 

Hamburg, 224, 228 

Hameln, 247 

Hamilton, Capt. George, 432 

Hampton Court, 259 

Hanau, 251 

Hanover, position of, 22-3, 39, 42, 
64-6, 75, 77-8, 82, 87, 141 ; eccen- 
tric attack on, 191 ; ii. 2, 213 

Hanoverian troops in England, 139, 
151, 155 

Harcourt, Gen. de, 280-1 

Hardy, Adm. (Sir) Charles (1757), 
167-8, 170 ; in Louisbourg cam- 
paign (1758), 254, 312, 317-8, 320, 
324; (1762), ii. 323 

Hardwicke, Philip Yorke, 1st Earl 
of, Lord Chancellor (1736-56), 
16, 33, 42 ; his relations with 
Anson, 51-2, 58, 85 ; arranges 
Newcastle-Pitt coalition, 179-181 ; 
without office; 183, 187, 209 ; on 
•'Captain-General," 230-1, 243; 
ii. 12, 14, 55, 83, 102, 131, 151, 
191-2, 196, 199, 206, 208, 247; 
on the peace, 287, 333-5, 349, 
363 ; his strategical opinions, i. 
227, 229, 241 ; ii. 79, 84, 95 n., 
147, 154, 204, 374 ; on commerce 
destruction, i. 86 

Hardeur, 99 

Harley, Robert, Earl of Oxford, ii. 
350, 360, 363 

Harraan, Capt. William, 381 

Hastcnbeck, battle of, 193, 197 

Hau.ssonville, Col. d'. ii. 324-5 

Havana, 373 ; ii. 188 ; expedition 
against, ii. 238-9, 242, 246-84, 

289, 296, 301, 308, 324, 354-5, 

358-9. 360-2, 369 
Haviland, Col., in N. America, ii. 

106, 114-7 ; at Martinique, 220-1; 

at Havana, 250 
Havre, 87, 99, 200, 254, 280 : ii. 14, 

21, 24-5, 47-8 
Havrincour, French ambas. to 

Sweden, ii. 18, 22, 49 
Hawke, Adm. Sir Edward (Lord), 

44, 123 ; his command (1755), 50, 
53, 59-61 ; his strategy, 66-73 ; 
(1756), 97-8, 100; supersedes 
IJyng, 129; his tactical exercises, 
131 ; C.-in-C. in Mediterranean, 
132, 134-7, 144-5, 156, 183; 
Rochefort expedition, 187, 195, 
197 ; his instructions, 201 ; his 
opinion of the generals, 209-10, 
232; at Rochefort, 210-21, 229, 
236; (1758), 260-2; strikes his 
flag, '268-91, 271, 275, 316, 320; 
invalided, 399 ; Channel Fleet 
(1759), ii. 10, 15; his blockade. 
16-24, 27. 39, 41-51 ; in chase of 
Conflans, 52-6 ; defeats him, 58- 
70, 72-3; (1760), 90; his landing 
project, 93-4, 96, 99-103. 159-60 ; 
Channel Fleet (1762), 248, 316- 
20; his last cruise, 322-3, 342, 
344 ; his character, i. 204 ; ii. 99, 

Hay, Edward. British Minister at 
Lisbon, ii. 231, 299, 310-4, 316-7 

Ilcbe, ii. 51 

Hector, Capt. Charles-Jean, Comte 
d', ii. 323 

Ilermione, ii. 134, 321, 354 

H6ros, ii. 66-7 

Hervey, Capt. Hon. Augustus (3rd 
Earl of Bristol), 129; ii. 28. 43, 

45, 49 ; at Martinique, 2'20-2, 
225-6, 235-8, 248 ; at Havana, 
258-9, 266, 272-4, 283, '285, 360 

Hesse, 39 ; troops of, 88, 154-5 

Hevia, Adm. Don Gutierre de. 
Marques del Real Transporte, ii. 
2.')7-8, 263, 269, 273-4, 284 

Highland regiments, 152 and n., 
372, 377 

Hocquart, Capt., 54 

Hodgson, Gen. Studholme, ii. 157- 
8, 160-1, 166-7 

Holburne, Adm. Francis, his com- 
mand (1755), 48 et seq., 100; his 
campaign (1757), 156, 160, 169- 
76 ; blockades Delamotte, 177-8, 
184, 237 

Holderness, Robert, Earl of. Sec, of 



state for North, 33, 49-50, 70, 
150, 154, 187, 1H9-90, 229, 267; 
ii. 15 ; retires, 171 

Holland, policy of, 74, 80, 89, 139, 
143; ii. 5-7 

Holmes, Capt. Charles, 177 ; com- 
modore at London, 242, 246-252, 
410; Adm., Quebec (1759), 399, 
4'^5, 428, 430, 434, 435 n., 438, 
442-3, 444-51, 456, 458-9, 463-7; 
ii. 54 ; C.-in-C, Jamaica, 91, 196, 
198, 233 ; dead, 239-40, 243 

Holstein, ii. 295-6, 327; Duke of, 
see Peter III. and Schlesvvig-Hol- 

Honduras, ii. 150-1, 180, 198-9, 
207, 332 

Honfleur, 280 ; ii. 25 

Hood, Capt. Samuel (afterwards 
Adm. Viscount), ii. 24 

Hopken, Baron Johann, Swedish 
Chancellor, 85 ; ii. 80 

Hopson, Gen., 376-82 

Hornet, sloop, ii. 282, 235 

Houelberg, 386 

Howe, Col. George Augustus, 3rd 
Viscount, 306-7 ; death of, 322 n. 

Capt. Hon. Eichard (afterwards 

Adm. Earl), 54-5 ; his character, 
205; at Rochefort, 212-4; his 
command (1758), 266, 272, 275-81. 
287-9, 293-302; 4rh Vi-scount, 
304 ; ii. 59, 64-6 ; overtures made 
to him, 73, 76, 131, 315 

Col. Hon. William (afterwards 

Gen., 5th Viscount), at Quebec, 
464 ; at Havana, ii. 272, 276 

Hughes, Capt. (afterwards Adm. 
Sir Richard), ii. 137 

Commodore Robert, 377 

JIunter, sloop, 443, 454, 461, 467-8 

Imber Court, 223 

India, Pitt's views on conquest in, 

Intermediate ships, ii. 21 n., 367, 

Intelligence service, activity of, 41, 

84-5, 87, 97; ii. 13, 17-8, 23, 49, 

150, 152, 194, 201, 229 n. 
Intrepid, 100, 114, 122-4, 131 
Intrepide, ii. 67 
Invasion, projects of, Belleisle's 

(1756), 87-92, 98; (1757), 104; 

(1759), ii. 3-4, 8, 13, 17-20, 22-3 ; 

Choiseul's (1762), 301-8 ; various 

categories of, i. 207-9 ; panics, 
84, 88, 140, 197; ii. 14-15; Bed- 
ford on, 176 

Invincible, 314 

Ireland, 133, 159,286,310,317; ii. 

Irwin, Col. Sir John, 297, 301 n. 

Islay, raid on, ii. 89 

Isle of Wight as place d'armes, 195, 
163-4, 267, 301 ; ii. 10-1, 13-4 

Isle Royale (St. Lawrence), ii. 115 

Isle d'Yeu, ii. 70 

Jacques Cartier, river, 444-6, 456, 

471 ; ii. 109, 114 
Jamaica, 72, 168, 351-5, 357-64, 

368, 388, 399; ii. 91, 233, 237- 

40, 242, 244, 246,256, 258-9, 261-2, 

265, 276-7, 299, 304, 307 
James, Comm. (H.E.I.C.S.), 344 
Jersey, ii. 11, 33 
Jervis, Lieut. John (afterwards 

Adm., Earl St. Vincent), 400, 430 
Johnson, Sir William, ii. 106 
Johnstone, Capt. George, ii. 232, 

235 n., 287 
Juno, ii. 53-5, 58 
Juste, ii. 66, 68 


Kaunitz-Rittberg, Count, Austrian 

chancellor, 20, 141 ; ii. 287, 290-1, 

Kearney, Lieut. M., ii. 38 
Keene, Sir Benjamin, K.B., am- 

bas. to Spain (1748-57), 21, 80, 

Keith, George, Earl Marischal, ii. 

229 n. 

Robert, ambas. to Russia, ii. 

290, 294-5 

Kempenfelt, Capt. Richard (after- 
wards Adm.), 340; ii. 120 

Kent, 345 

Keppel, Commodore Hon. Augustus 
(Viscount), 25, 45, 98-9, 205; 
(1759), ii. 17 ; in Quiberon action, 
64, 70; his Belleisle command, 
102-4, 135-9, 149, 15.=;, 157-64, 
168; his blockade, 176, 196, 203, 
216, 233-4 ; under Pocock at 
Havana, 249, 263, 272, 283, 365 

William Anne, and George. 

8cc Albemarle 

Gen. Hon. William, ii. 250, 

274, 283 



Kersaint rle Coetiiempron, Capt., 
3G6-7, 861) 

King of Prussia, hospital .ship, 272 

Kingsley, General, ii. 102 

Kingston (Jamaica), 352 

Kingston, 100, 114 

Kinnoul, Thomas Hay, 8th Earl of, 
Envoy Extr. to Portugal, ii. 80, 

Kinsale, ii. 90-1 

Klosterzeven, convention of, 223, 
228, 409 

Knok, 184, 18U 

Knowles, Adm. Sir Charles, 201, 
204, 211, 358 n. ; bis peace re- 
connaissance of Havana, ii. 24(> 
and note, 266-71 ; his criticism of 
the campaign, 261 n., 277 

Knyphausen, Dodo Heinrich, Baron 
zu Inn iind, Prussian Minister in 
London, 264, 267 n. ; his interfer- 
ence in English politics, ii. 329- 
31, 335, 353-4, 363 

Ktinersdorf, battle of, ii. 75, 78 

La Borde, M. de, a banker, ii. 345 n. 
La Chaleur Bav, action in, ii. 113 
La Clue Sabran, Adm. de, 227-8, 

255-60, 316 ; ii. 22, 31-41 
La Fausille, Gen., ii. 250 
Laforey, Capt. L, 328 
LaGolette, 405; ii. 115 
Lagos, battle of, 31-9, 65, 158, 162 
La Guayra, ii. 236 
La Hogue, 99 
Lally ToUendal, Gen. de, 338, 347-9; 

ii. 120-1, 126, 129, 133-5 
Lake Champlain, 25, 306, 330, 405, 

414, 442; ii. 106, 115 
Lake Erie, 13, 25 
Lake George, 166, 175, 306, 330, 

405 ; ii. 100 
Lake Pontchartrain, ii. 340 
Lambale, 299 
Lambart (or Lambert), Brigadier 

Hamilton, ii. 165-6 
Lancaster, 100, 114 
Langdon, Capt. William, 366-7 
Langeron, M. de, C.-in-C. at Roche- 
fort, 215 
La Touche, Capt. Le Vassor de, Gov. 

of Yv. Leeward Islands, ii. 224-5 
La Trinitc (Martinique), ii. 219, 

225, 236-7 
Leeward Islands station, 351-7, 360, 


Legge, Henry Bilsou, Chan, of the 
Exchequer, 76, 180 

Leghorn, 137, 267 ; ii. 92 

Lehwaldt, Gen.-Feldmarschall Hans 
von, 133, 162 

Leith, ii. 88 

Lelaud (or Leyland), Major, ii. 224 

Leslie, Lieut., 401 n 

L'Etandu^re, Adm. Henri-Francois 
des Herbiers, Marquis de, 130 

Leuthen, battle of, 234 

L^vis, Chev. de, 102, 414, 431, 445, 
471-2; C.-in-C in Canada, ii. 
109-12, 115-8 

Liegnitz, battle of, ii. 85 

Ligonier, General Sir John, Lord, 
33-4, 192, 201 ; his Kochefort 
appreciation, 203-4, 216, 229 ; 
C.-in-C, 230-2, 263, 271, 397 ; ii. 
23, 96, 98, 100 ; opposes war with 
Spain, 203-4, 208, 247, 253 ; his 
groundless fear of invasion, 343-4 

Limited wars, 336 ; ii. 1-2 

Lines of passage and communica- 
tion, as basis of naval strategj% 
307-10 ; methods of controlling, 
311-4; ii. 19-22 

Lippe - Schaumburg - Biickeburg, 
Wilhelm, Count zu, ii. 322, 383 

Lisbon, 53, 60, 388 : ii. 92, 216-7, 
232, 251, 297, 300-2, 316-7, 319, 

L'Orient, 70, 200, 254, 260, 263, 
280, 339, 345 ; ii. 16-7, 28-9, 42, 
51-3, 59, 103 

Loudoun, Gen. John Campbell, 4th 
Earl of, at Louisbourg, 166-76 : 
recalled, 306, 364 ; in Portugal, 
ii. 322 

Louis XV., 22, 64, 81, 141 ; ii. 45-6 

Louisa, Princess, of England, Queen 
of Denmark, ii. 295 

Louisbourg, 18, 26-7, 40, 43, 45, 48, 
56-7, 67, 144, 152, 156, 1,59-60, 
163 ; first attack on, 167-79, 187, 
190,224,232, 237, 242, 255, 260-2, 
269 ; second attack on, 305-33, 
339, 343 ; demolition of, ii. 108, 
111, 113, 115, 158. 

Louisiana, 307, 359, 365 ; as peace 
counter, ii. 333-62 

Love and Unity, ii. 52 

Lowestoft, 429, 443, 454-5, 4(i6-7, 
469; ii. 112 

Liibeuk, ii. 295 

Lundy Island, 335 

Liineberg, 233, 238 

Lynn, 363, 365 

Lys, 55, 65 




MacLaurin, John, a master, 235 n. 
Macnamara (or Macneruara), Adui. 

Comte de, 47 et seq. 
Madras, 341, 340-50; ii. 120-2, 

125-6, 136, 139-40 
Maqnanime, 211-14; ii. 59, 63, 65 
Ma'hon, Port, 91-2, 103, 105, 110, 

110-3, 125-6, 129-30, 132, 135, 

137, 144, 149, 204, 258, 260, 338. 

See also Minorca. 
Maillebois, Gen., 127 
Malaga, Battle of, 4 ; ii. 34 
Maldon (Essex), ii. 18 
Man, Isle of, action off, ii. 91 
Man (or Mann), Commodore Robert, 

ii. 323 ; Adm., i. 124 n. 
:Manilla, ii. 248, 254, 365 
Mansfield, William Murra)', 1st Earl 

of, L.C.J., 230 ; ii. 102, 200, 203-4, 

334, 349 
Maplesden, Capt. Jervis, 302 n. 
Maria Amelia, Queen of Spain, 

ii. 184 
Maria Theresa, Empress, 20, 22, 

141-3 ; ii. 73, 141 
Marlborough, John Churchill, 1st 

Duke of, 19, 22 ; ii. 206, 291 
Charles Spencer, 3rd Duke of, 

60 ; his command (1758), 266, 

275-85 ; C.-in-C. in Westphalia, 

286-8. 292, 372 
Mariegalante, 390, 392; ii. 174-5, 

179, 322, 340 
Marniere, Capt. de, ii. 52 
Marseilles, ii. 32, 86, 92, 230, 304 
Marsh, Commodore Henry, 337 
Martinique, 304, 352-7, 362-3, 368, 

37.3-9, 387, 390, 392-5; ii. 16, 

102, 103, 137, 143, 155-6, 164, 

176-8; capture of, 209-26, 225-6, 

286, 241-2, 249, 258, 270, 296, 801, 

804, :!07, 332-4, 339-40, 346, 357 
Masulipatarn, 344; ii. ILM 
.Alatignon, 298-9 
Mauduit, Israel, his anti-German 

pamphlet, ii. 144-8. 
Mauritius, 340, 344-5, 349 ; ii. 82, 

97, 120-1, 126, 129-38, 141-3, 

149, 154, .340 
Maxen, Battle of, ii. 7.s 
Moaban, island, ii. 43 
Medica;/, 410 

Mello (or Melho), Baron de, Portu- 
guese Minister in London, ii. 2.52, 

289, 297, 299 
Momel, 193 
Merlin, sloop, ii. 238 

Michell, Abraham Ludwig, Prussian 
Minister in London, 251-2 ; ii. 

Milford, ii. 90 

MUford, ii. 257 

Militia, 88, 151, 223 ; ii. 10, 15, 23, 

Millbank, Capt., ii. 38 

Mindanao, ii. 254 

Minden, Battle of, 234, 246-7, 250, 
278 ; ii. 26, 30-1, 74, 78, 182 

Minorca, 21, 89, 91, 94; operations 
against, 96-130 ; capitulation, 
132 ; effect thereof, 137, 139, 
143-6, 149, 153, 161, 164, 179, 
191, 237, 270, 340, 367, 372; in- 
fluence on Pitt's strategy, 374-6, 
395 ; ii. 95, 97, 103, 144 ;"its value 
in the negotiations for peace, 
174-5, 179, 181, 188, 190, 214, 
230, 232 ; French garrison in- 
creased, 321-2; its retrocession, 
332, 347 

Miquelon, Isle of, ii. 382, 339 

Miranda (Portugal), ii. 317 

Mirepoix, Marquis de, French 
Ambas. in London, 30-1, 40, 40-3, 
44-7, 49 ; leaves, 61, 412 

Mis.sissippi, 12, 108, 307, 360, 365, 
! 376; ii. 106, 143; as Franco- 
i British frontier, 333, 840, 343 
I Mitchell, Sir Andrew, K.B., Briti.-li 
I Ambas. at Berlin (1757-64), 145, 
! 155, 163, 184, 187-90, 240. 263; 
! ii. 78, 288-9. 294-6, 329. 850-2 
j Mobile, 807, 331 ; ii. 143, 333, 340 
I Modestt, ii. 39 
! Mona Passage, ii. 260-1 
I Monarque, 138 

; Monckton, Col. Hon. Robert, 72 ; at 
Louisbourg, 318 ; Gov. of Nova 
Scotia, 398 ; Brigadier (1759), 
408, 422, 425, 433, 451-3, 457, 461 , 
4t)6 ; General and Gov. of New 
York, C.-in-C. against Martinique, 
ii. 209, 218-9, 221-2, 225 ; in war 
with Spain, 239, 241, 24.5-6, 258, 
255, 258 

Moncrieff, Major, 42(i 

Monmouth, 258 

Monson, Col., ii. 138 

Montcalm, Louis Joseph, Marquis 
de, C.-in-C. in Canada, 102; his 
counter stroke (1757), 174-5, 
(1758) 830-2. (17.59) 413, 415; 
his dispositions, 418-9, 423, 
42,5-7, 431-2, 436-41 ; begins to 
be shaken, 448-9, 455-62, 469- 
71 ; mortally wounded, 471 
2 (' 



Monte Christi (St. Domingo), 066, 

Montmorenci River (Quebec), 417-9, 
42(5-7, 429-35, 438-41, 451-3, 
457-8, 460 

Montreal, 12, 25-6, 42-3, 306, 334, 
405, 414, 419, 445, 471, 475; 
campaign agjainst, ii. 98-118, 220 

Montserrat, 351, 358, 362-3 

Moore, Adm. Sir John, 368 ; his 
campaign (1759), 377-87 ; out- 
witted by Bompart, 387 ; causes 
of his failure, 388-91 ; end of the 
campaign, 392-4; ii. 316 

Morbihan, The, ii. 43-6, 50, 56-61, 

Mordaunt, Gen. Sir John, character 
of, 201 ; at Rochefort, 203, 209- 
10, 213-21 ; his court-martial, 
232, 247 n. 

Morlaix, 273, 290 

Morogues, Adm. Bigot de, ii. 43, 
45, 68 

Morro Castle (Havana), ii. 264-70, 
276-9 ; fall of, 280-1, 284, 354 

Miinchhausen, Baron von, Hano- 
verian Minister in London, 235-6, 

Munster, 292 ; ii. 14, 288 

Murray, Col. Hon. James, 398 ; 
Brigadier (1859), 408, 425, 438, 
442-51, 461 ; in Montreal cam- 
paign, ii. 105-6, 108-12, 114-7 


Namur, ii. 34 

Nante.«, ii. 27, 29, 30, 42 

Naples, relation of, to the war, 64, 

143, 145 
Napoleon, origin of his invasion 

plans, ii. 18-22, .307-8 
Naval construction, ii. 369, 371 
Negapatam, ii. 125 
Nelson, quoted, 5, 7, 93 
Netherlands. See Austrian Nether- 
lands and Flanders. 
Neutral Powers, 164 ; ii. 5-8, 79, 

208, 218 
Nevis, 351, 353, 362-3 
New Orleans, 12, 13, 25, 305 ; ii. 

333, 340, 347- 50 
New Providence, 351, 383 
New York, 167-8, 172-3, 175, 310, 

313-4, 317, 330, 347, 429, 474; 

ii. 164, .324 
Newark, 258 ; ii. 38 
Newcastle, Thomas Polham-Holles, 

Duke of, 10 ; as war minister, 
15-6, 27-9 ; relations with the 
Pompadour, 30 ; parliamentary 
influence, 31, 37-8, 42, 49-53, 
58-61, 70, 76, 85-6, 88 ; relation 
to loss of Minorca, 96-9, 102, 333 ; 
resigns, 138, 140, 143, 149-50, 
157-8; coalition with Pitt, 179, 
185, 197-8, 227, 235-6, 268,x285, 
289 ; of the continental school, 
290-1, 295, 372-4 ; (1759), ii. 11- 
14, 18-9, 22-3, 26-7, 46, 54-5; 
suggests Baltic squadron, ii. 78-9, 
83-4 ; opposes Belleisle project, 
95, 98-102, 104, 137 ; his waning 
influence, 102, 156, 211, 251-2; 
his fall, 324-6 ; his attitude on 
peace, 192, 200, 202-3, 286-7, 
333 ; in opposition, 342, 349, 
356-7, 361, 363-4 ; his party, 102, 
211, 247, 333, 363 

Newfoundland, 72, 171; ii. 96, 
150-1, 156, 174, 180, 190-3 ; ques- 
tion of its fisheries, 286, 323-4, 

Newspapers, indiscretions of, 30. 
See also Press 

Niagara, Fort, 25, 405, 414, 445, 
449 ; ii. 106-7 

Nienburg, 239, 246 

Nieuport, 64, 161, 195, 266, 289; 
ii. 174-5, 190, 193 

Nivernais, Due de, 82, 84-7; ii. 

Noel, Capt. Hon. Thomas, 114 

Norfolk, ii. 129 n 

Northumberland, 410, 473 

Nova Scotia, ii. 26, 40, 42-3, 46, 72, 
177, 310, 314, 418 ; ii. 326 

Object, ISth cent, equivalent of 

" objective." 
Ocean, ii. 38-9 
Ocker, the, 245 
O'Dunn, French envoy to Portugal, 

ii. 310-3 
(Eolus, ii. 90 
Oeyras, Sebastiio Jose de Cavalho 

e Mello, Count (afterwards Mar- 

quez de Pombal), Portuguese 

Prime Minister), ii. 299, 310-3, 

316, 322 
Ogdensburg, ii. 115 
Ohio River, 10, 13, 14, 16, 40, 62, 

256, 259, 306, 333-4 



Old Bahama channel, ii. 2G0-3, 2Gr), 

Old Cape Fran9ois, 359, 360 
Oldenburg, 23 

01(^ron, island of, 209; ii. 177. 211 
Onslow, Arthur, Speaker, 222 
Ontario, Lake, 25, 149, 333, 40.5, 

413; ii. 114 
Oporto, ii. 317, 322 
Oran, ii. 230 
Orford, 410 
Orifiamme, 258 
Orne, the, ii. 93 
Orph^e, 258, 281 
Ortegal, ii. 320, 323 
0.sboine, Adm. Henrv, 102, 159 ; 

blockades La Clue, 237-8, 255-60, 

316. 320. 399 
Osnabriick, 246, 250 ; ii. 288 
Ostend, 20, 64, IGl, 195, 251, 266, 

285: ii. 18, 19, 103; ii. 174-5, 

190, 193 
Oswego, 25, 149, 333, 405; ii. 107, 

Ouistreham, 280 ; ii. 93 
Ourry, Capt. Philip Henry, ii. 52, 

Oxford, 474 

Paderborn, 162; ii. 14 

Pallas, ii. 90 

Palliser, Capt. (Adm. Sir Hugh), ii. 

Panther, ii. 129 n 
Param^, 276 
Parker, Capt. (Adm. Sir Hyde), 

198-9, 225-6 ; ii. 25 n, 129 n 
Parry, Capt. William, 114 
Paston, Capt. William, 302 n 
Paulet, Capt. Lord Harry, 71 n 
Peace of Paris (1763), signed, ii. 
362-5 ; its value, 376 ; its text, 
Pembroke, 410 
Penzance, 47 

Pdrier de Salverte, Capt., 56, 357-9 
Peter 111. of Russia (Duke of Hol- 
stein-Gotterp), ii. 290, 294-5; 
died, 251 
Petit Bourg (Guadeloupe), 331 
Petite Terre Island, 392 
Philadelphia, 310, 317 
Phipps, Sir William, his attempt in 

Quebec, 418, 440 
P/ucnix, 114, 120 
Picardy. 303 ; ii. 95, 168 
Pigot, George (Lord), Gov. of 
Madras, ii. 120, 130. 138-9 

Pirna. 149 

Pitt, Ladv Hester, ii. 113 ; Baroness 
Chatham, 213 

William (Earl of Chatham), his 

"system," 8-9, 28-9, 79-80, 148, 
150-2, 155-6, 187-91, 223, 369, 
371-5; ii. 31, 78, 119, 144-5, 148, 
160, 214-5, 227-8, 374; opposes 
continental measures, i. 75-S ; 
favours territorial army, 88 ; tries 
to save Byng, 133 ; in Devonshire 
administration, 150, 157 ; dis- 
missed, 158 ; on Loudoun and 
Holburne, 176 ; returns to power, 
179 ; his Rochefort expedition, 
192-6, 200; on Klosterzeven, 227, 
229-.30 ; plans for saving Hanover, 
234-6 ; distrusts Frederick, 241-3, 
262 ; his coastal operations (1758), 
262-8 ; proposes troops for con- 
tinent, 285-6 ; continues coastal 
operations, 287-9, 29J, 295-6. 301, 
303-4 ; his main design (1758), 
305-13, 317 ; his views on India, 
337-8, 343; ii. 121, 131 ; his war 
plan (1759), i. 371-0, 377, 379, 
396 ; his attitude to invasion, ii. 
3, 26-7, 46, 54 ; refuses Spanish 
mediation, 74-7 ; his war plan 
(1760), 80-6, 94-105, 113, 131-2, 
135-6, 142-3, 154-6, 164, 169, 
176-7, 206 ; suspects Spain, 149- 
52, 156, 182; on the peace, 171- 
5, 179-83, 188-93, 376 ; wants to 
declare war with Spain, 196-208 ; 
resigns, 209-10 ; after his fall, 
213-5, 228-9, 285, 298; consulted 
by Fr.derick, 330-1, 335-6; de- 
nounces the peace, 363-4; his 
method of war direction, i. 180-3, 
191-2, 267-9; ii. 11-3, 15-6 ; its 
constitutional aspect, 205-7, 228- 
9 ; on home defence, i. 223 ; ii. 10, 
14-5, 23-4 ; his choice of officers, 
i. 366-7, 382, 397-8, 408 ; ii. 158- 
60 ; on naval positions, i. 408 

Pittsburg, 13-4. 334 

Placontia (Newfoundland), ii. 324 

Plassev, battle of, 342, 344, 350, 
ii. 129 

Plate fleet (Flota), ii. 188, 194-G, 
201, 207, 21G 

Pocock, Adm. Sir George, 157; 
C.-in-C. East Indies, 344-50 ; ii. 
120-6; invalided, 127-8; C.-in-C. 
against Havana, 241-2; 248-9; 
253, 254-65. 267, 275-9, 2S3 _ 

Pointe aux Trembles, 437, 445-9, 
456, lGl-4, 466 ; ii. 109 



Poltzig, battle of, ii. 27 
Fomerauia, 1G;J, 193 ; ii. 288, 337 
Pompadour, Madame de, 30, ()4, 81, 

Pondicherry, 342-9 ; ii. 121-6, 129 ; 

capture of, 133-5, 137-8, 177, 182, 

Porcupine, 430 
Port Arthur, 18 

Port Dauphin (Cape Breton), 317 
Port au Prince (St. Domingo), 354, 

Port en Bessin. ii. 93 
Port Louis, ii. 176 
Port Mahon, 91, 102-3, lOo, 108-13, 

125-6, 129-32, 135, 137, 144, 149, 

204, 260, 33S ; ii. 321 
Port Royal (Jamaica), 352. 358, 360, 

364-5, 367, 378; ii. 242-,% 256, 

258-9, 262 
Portland, 114, 296, 372 
Portugal, 4, 21 ; ii. 189, 202, 251-2, 

296-301, 334-5 
Pownal, Capt. Philemon, ii. 821 
Prado Portocarrero, A dm. Don 

Juan de, ii. 257-8, 263, 265, 284 
Prague, 164, 184 
Presqu'ile, 14 
Press, influence of the, 30 ; ii. 144- 

8, 301-2, 353-4, 359-60 
Preston, 258 
Pretender, the (Charles Edward), 

65, 90 ; ii. 4 
Prideaux, Gen., 445 
Prince, ii. 87 

Prince Edward's Island, 328 
Prince Frederick, 314, 410 
Prince Rupert's Bay, ii. 178 
Prince of Orange, 410 
Princess Amelia, 410 
Princess Louisa, 114 
Princess Mary, 358 
Privateers, 96, 392-5 ; regulation 

use of, ii. 7-9, 27, 79, 178 
Prize-money, ii. 283, 321, 354 
Prudent. 316, 327 
Prussia, policy of, 17, 22, 39. Sec 

also Frederick the Great 
Puerto Rico, 351, 3,V.), 393; ii. 181, 

260, 361 
Public spirit, bad state of, 223 ; as 

strategical factor, 224-5, 286,373- 

4 ; ii. 19.3-4, 360 

Quebec, 26, 27, 42, 43, 57, 73, 152, 
156, 166, 167, 170, 177, 204, 242 ; 

ii. 1, 40, 46-7, 54, 74-5. 113 4, 
119, 124, 130, 219, 250, 263, 270, 
276 ; capture of, i. 425, 476 ; 
Murray's defence of, ii. 105-10, 
305-7, 317, 321, 326, 330-2, 334, 
391, 396, 424 

Quiberon, ii. 42-3, 50-3, 55, 57, 
59, 60, 62, 65, 70, 75, 90, 94, 158- 
9, 163 ; battle of, ii. 65-70 

Quimperle, ii. 48 


Raisonnable, ii. 219, 222 

RamiUies, 100, 114, 123, 261 ; ii. 47, 

Ranee river, 296 

RedouUable, 366 ; ii. 39 

Repeating frigates, 120 

Reprisal, 67. See also Declaration 
of War 

Resolution, ii. 66-7 

Reunion, ii. 82 

Revenge, 100, 114, 258 

Reynolds, Comm. John, ii. 29, 30, 

Revest, du. Chef d'Escad., 159 

Rhe, Isle of, 209, 229, 2.30, 261 ; ii. 

Rhineland, the Prussian, ii. .340-1, 
347-9, 355, 362, 364. See also 
Berg, Cleves, Gueldres, Wesel 

Rhuys, peninsular of, ii. 93 

Richelieu, Marechal, Due de, at 
Minorca, 107-8, 127, 131-2, 133 ; 
his campaign against Cumber- 
land, 193-6, 224->; against Fer- 
dinand, 228, 232-5 

Richmond, ii. 241, 262 

Rigbv, Mr. Richard, M.P., ii. 194, 

Robinson, Sir Thomas, Sec. of 
State, 33, 46, 49, 59, 158 

Rochefort, peace reconnaissance of, 
192 ; expedition against, 197-222 ; 
its strategical effects, 227-9, 244 

Rochester, ii. 52-3, 64 

Rodney, Capt. George Brydges 
(Adm. Lord), 205 ; his prize, 315, 
327; Coram. (1759), ii 21; at 
Havre, 24-5 ; Channel (1760), 92- 
3 ; C.-in-C. against Martinique, 
210, 217-21, 225-6; in war with 
Spain, 233,235-40; under Pocock, 
241-6, 225-9, 244 

RoUo, Brigadier, Andi'cw, 5th Lord, 
ii. 115 ; takes Dominica, 117 ; at 
Mai-tinique, 209, 218, 232; at 
Havana, 250, 278 



Rosbach, battle of, 283-4 

Kouille, Antoiiie Louis. Cotnte de 

Jouy, French foieis:n minister, 

45, 65 
Rous, Capt. John, 72, 169, 320, 433, 

438, 456-7 
Rowley, Capt. (Adm. Sir John), 

302 n 
A'oya/ George, '21)1 ; ii. 51, 53, 64, 

66-7, 371 
Royal William, 211, 410 
Rufane, Col. William, ii. 223 
Rule of 1756, ii. 5-6 
Russia, relations with, 38-9, 

75, 141, 161 ; turns to France, 


Sable, Isle de, 317 

Sackville, Gen. Lord George (1758), 

266, 269 ; his evil influence, 278, 

287 ; Wolfe's letters to, 269, 314, 

323, 326 ; his disgrace, 30-1, 83 
St. Augustine (Florida), 456; ii. 137, 

139, 140, 252 
St. Brieuc, 298 
St, Cas, 282; disaster at, 29S-;304, 

St. Christopher. See St. Kitt's 
St. David's, ii. 120 
St. Domingo (Hayti or Hispaniola), 

351-6, 359, 364-5, 368, 393, 410; 

ii. 16, 194, 257, 259, 261 
St. Eustafius, :;.52, 383, 386; ii. 6, 

St. Germain. Gen. de, 244-7 
St. Kitt's, 351-3, 362-3, .393 ; ii. 241, 

256, 259, 261 
St. Lawrence River, Saunders' 

passage of the, 416-7 
St. Lucia, 357, 368, 390-1, 408; its 

strategic importance, ii. 143, 

177-9, 286, 339 ; negotiations 

turn on it, 340-3, 346-50, 359, 

362 ; its capture, 226 
St. Malo, 99, 2.54,265, 271. 273; 

attacks on, 275-(), 279, 283-4, 

288, 296-7 
St. PieiTe (capital of Martinique), 

368, 378-9, 395 ; ii. capture of, 

St. Pierre Island (Newfoundland), 

as fishing station, ii. 191-3. 286 

332, 339 
St. Servan, destruction of, 276-7 

Hainte-Croi.v, Chev. de, gov. of 

Belleisle, ii. 166-8, 170 
Sal vert. See Pdrier de Salvert 

Sandershausen, batlle of, 292 

Sandwich, John Montagu, Earl of, 

Santiago (Cuba), ii. 24G, 257, 276 

Sardinia. See Savoy 

Saunders, Adm. Sir Charles, 130 ; 
at Gibraltar (1757) 159, 237 
(1758) 255-60; Anson's esteem 
for, 274, 400 ; recalled for Channel 
fleet, 281, 334 ; C.-in-C. against 
Quebec, 399-401 ; his strategy, 
406-7, 410, 420-2, 424-6, 428 ; 
his co-operation with Wolfe, 432- 
4, 438-43 ; with the brigadiers, 
451-5 ; his final operations, 
457-8. 466, 470-4, 476; his 
tribute to the army, 473 ; tries 
to join Hawke, 54-6, 69 ; C.-in-C. 
in Mediterranean (1760), 92, 198- 
!>, 204, 220, 216-7 ; defence of 
Portugal, 230-2, 236, 249, 308-15, 
321-3, 344 

Savoy, 4, 64, 154 

Sawyer, Capt. Herbert, ii. 321 

Saxony, Frederick Augustus II., 
Elector of. King of Poland, 145 

Schleswig-Holstein, 154 ; ii. 294-7, 

Schomberg, Capt. Alexander, 432 

Scott, Capt., ii. 90 

Sea-horse, 248, 255-6 

Scaford, 47 ; ii. 137 

Secret (or Inner) Committee of the 
Council — its constitution and 
functions, 32-3, ISl, 183, 201 ; ii. 
83 ; meetings of, i. 33, 42-3, 45, 
53, 59-61, 67, 70, 144, 187, 192 n, 
198, 229, 265. 285 ; ii, 99, 247 

Senegal, 157, 304, 337, 374 ; ii. 175, 
179, 332 

Shirley, William, Gov. of Massa- 
chusetts, 25-6, 42 

Shreivshury, 410 

Shuklham, Capt. Molyneux (Adm. 
Lord), ii. 222 

Silesia, 17, 79, 141, 153, 161, 234; 
ii. 216, 287-8, 295, 337 

Slade, Sir Thomas, chief construc- 
tor, ii. 371 

Solar de Breille, Caspar Joseph, 
Bailli de, Sardinian ambas. in 
Paris, ii. 285-6, 306, 341, 346-7, 

Soleil Royal, ii. ()6-V0 

Somerset, 410 ; ii. 55 n 

Soubise, Charles de Rohan, Marechal 
Prince de, 185, 193, 225, 227-8, 
232-3, 244, 284, 291-2, 302 : ii. 
13-5, 131, 136, l(i7 8 



Spain, policy of, SO, 139, 145 ; as 
neutral sea power, ii. 5 ; attempts 
to mediate, 73, 97 ; resolves on 
war, 216 ; her war plan, 298-9 

Spcircken, August J'riedrich Baron, 
general-lieutenant, 227 

Spry, Capt. Richard, 47-1 ; commo- 
dore, ii. 224, 23G, 315 

Squirrel, 432 

Stade, 18(), 193, 190-9, 205, 224-6, 
239, 243, 292 

Stanhope, Capt. Sir Thomas, ii. 162, 
164-5, 169, 176 

Stanley, Hans, his mission to Paris, 
ii. 154, 175, 180, 182-.3, 190-2, 
194-6, 202, 285 

Steevens, Commodore Charles, 
340-1, 344; admiral and C.-in-C. 
E. Indies, 120, 127. 129-30, 134-5, 
137 ; dies, 138, 254 

Stirling Castle, 406, 417 

Storr, Capt. John, 258 

Stralsund, 234 

Strode, Gen., ii. 89 

Slromboli, 248 

Stuart, Lieut., ii. 51 

Success, 276 

Suckling, Capt. Maurice, 366-7 

Superhe, ii. 66 

Surajah Dowlah, 341-3 

Sutherland, 410, 432, 443, 466-7 

Swallow, ii. 58 

Swanton, Commodore Robert, ii. 
107, 112; at Martinique, 210, 
219-22, 236-8, 241-3, 262 

Sweden, 23 : as naval power, 84, 98, 
164; ii. 4, 5, 17, 22-3, 79 

Sweidnitz, ii. 214, 361 

Sioiftsure, 259 ; ii. 162 

Tactical exercises, 131, 273-4 
Tactics, Byng's, at Minorca, 116- 

121 ; cutting the line, 114 n., 122 ; 

French, ii. 56-7; Pocock's, 128; 

progress in, 371-2 
Tagus, the, ii. 310-2, 317, 321 
Tanjore, ii. 129 
Taylor, Capt., 47, 249 
Ttmiraire, ii. 39, 218 
Temple, Richard Grenville, Earl, 

150; supports Pitt, ii. 198, 200, 

204, 213 
Ternay d'Arsic, Cliev. de, ii. 323-5 
Thesee, ii. 66 
Thierre, a pilot, 213-4 

Thurot, Capt. Francois, ii. 19. 47 ; 

liis raid, 89-91 
Ticonderoga. 330-3, 404, 442, 449, 

Tiddeman, Capt. Richard, ii. 137 n., 

Tobago, 352, 362 ; ii. 179 
Torbay, 5.5, 211 ; ii. 56, 64 
Torgau, battle of, ii. 104, 288, 293 
Torrington, Adm. Lord, 119 ; ii. 

Tortuga, ii. 243 
Toulon, 68, 88, 91. 97, 98, 101-2. 

106, 108, 126, 128, 132, 135-7, 

159, 168, 196, 237, 255-6, 260, 

406; ii. 10, 27, 31-3, 39, 88, 92, 

230, 303-4, 307-12, 318, 321-2 
Townshend, Hon. Charles, Sec. at 

War, ii. 227 
Col. Hon. George (1st Marquis), 

his militia bill, 88 ; brigadier at 

Quebec (1759), 408, 430, 433-4, 

451-3, 461 ; in command, 471-2 ; 

ii. 47, 55 ; in Portugal, 322 
Adm. Hon. George, 357-362, 

Trade, course of, E. Indies, 70-1 ; 

W. Indies, 353-7, 359 n. 
Transports, tonnage allowance in. 

205-6 ; escort of, see Lines of 

Trident, 100, 114, 410 
Trincomalee, 349 ; ii. 122, 130 
Trinidad, 352 

Trois Rivieres, 444, 449 ; ii. 114-5 
Turkey, 65 ; Frederick's relations 

with, 154 ; ii. 26, 289 
Tuscany, Francis IL, Grand Duke 

of (Emperor and Duke of Lor- 
raine), 143, 145, 267 
Tyrawley, Gen. James O'Hara, 

Lord, 130; ii. 297, 300, 313-4, 

317, 322 


Utreclit, Treaty of (1713), 20; ii. 
174-5, 192-3, 350, 354 

Val, battle of, 34 

Valogne, 228, 295 

Vandreuil, Marquis de. Gov. of 
Canada, 412-4, 419, 431, 444-5, 
455-6, 459; ii. 106, 109, 118 

Vaivjunrd, 410, 425, 435; ii. 55, 112 

Vanneck, financier, 345 n. 



Vannes, ii. 42, Sit, 167 

Velasco, Capt. Luis Vicoiite de, ii. 

274-5, 277-80, 284 
Venezuela, 352 
Ve7igea'nce, ii. 59 
Vera Cruz, ii. 257 
Vevden, 19H, 198, 224, 22G, 233, 

239, 245-6 
Verger, Saint - Andre du, Chef 

d'Escad., ii. 66, 69 
Versailles, treaty of (1756), 142, 143, 

145, 153; (1759), 160,244 
Vestal, ii. 25 
Vienna, 20, 148, 244 
Vigo, 315 

Villa Franca, ii. 310, 312 
Villaine River, ii. 67, 68, 69, 70, 86, 

93, 159, 324-5 
ViUe de Paris, 315 
Viper, sloop, 213 

Virgin Islands, 351-2, 362 ; ii. 260 
Virginia, 11, 12, 14, 72, 306, 413 
Viri (or Viry), Comte de, Sardinian 

anabas. in London, ii. 285, 306-7, 

331-3, 343, 346-50, 360 
Vladivostock, 389 
Voltaire, 133 


Wall, Gen. Richard, Spanish Prime 
Minister, 21, 80 ; ii. 74-7, 87, 
131-3, 188 

Walpole, Horace. 33, 77, 102, 108, 
201 : ii. 46-8, 108, 216, 229-30 

Sir Robert, ii. 350, 363 

Walsh, Clive's secretary, ii. 131 

Wanderwash, battle of, ii. 129 

Warspitc, ii. 634-5 

Warwick, 'Sol, 361 

Washington, George, 10 

Watson, Adm. Charles, C.-in-C. E. 
Indies, 157, 160, 340-3 ; death of, 
344-5, 350 

Wedell, Karl Heinrich, general- 
lieutenant, ii. 27 

Wellard, Capt. Robert, 104 

Wesel (Prussian Rhineland), 14S, 
153, 155, 162, 239, 241, 247, 284 ; 
ii. 340, 343, 346, 349-52, 355, 362 

Weser River, 23, 152, 155, 185-6, 
193-4, 224-6, 233-4, 239, 240-2, 
245-8 ; ii. 27, 30, 33 

Westminster, treaty of (1756), 141, 

Whitmore, Col. Edward, 314, 317 

Wilkes, John, ii. 354 

Willes, Sir John, Chief-Justice of 
Common Pleas, 133 

William III., strategy of, 4, 19 

Wilson. Capt. (H.E.LC.S.), ii. 127 

Winchelsea, Daniel Finch, Earl of. 
First Lord of Admiralty, 158 

Windward Islands, 352, 361 ; ii. 
259, 339 

Wolfe, Col. James, Q.M.G. at Roche- 
fort, 202, 211, 214-5, 220 ; his 
criticism on the expedition, 211-2, 
214, 221-2, 232 ; on value of coastal 
operations, 269-70 ; his admira- 
tion of Col. Howe, 207 ; brigadier 
in Louisbourg campaign, 314, 
318-9, 321-31; C.-in-C. for Quebec, 
397-8, 405-7, 416 ; his naval ap- 
preciation, 401-4 ; his plan of 
attack, 417-8 ; his operations to 
draw Montcalm, 425-443 ; falls 
ill, 449-458 ; resumes command, 
459-60 ; cancels brigadiers' plan, 
462-8 ; his death. 469-471 ; ii. 
46-7; his influence, ii. 162, 164. 
197, 219; letters of, see Major 
Wolfe and Sackville 

Major Walter, uncle of above, 

321, 326 

Wolfenbuttel, 245-6 

Wright, Capt. Fortunatus, 137 

Yarmouth, 242 

York, 314 

York, Prince Edward, Duke of, ii 

Yorke, Col. Hon. Joseph, Minister 

at the Hague, 89, 229, 239; ii. 

9 ; general, 76, 287, 329 
Young, Capt. James, 114, 122 
Yucatan Channel, 357-9, 860, 362 ; 

ii. 259, 262. 276 

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